So you want to learn how to get more followers on Pinterest.
Luckily for me, we have a Pinterest pro on the team here at CoSchedule. When I asked Nicole how she gets more followers on Pinterest, this was her very first piece of advice:
The general consensus seems to be Pin really great content that you love, and your followers will, too.
That’s an awesome place to start. But Nicole wasn’t done helping me learn this stuff quite yet, and since we’re trying to grow our own following on Pinterest here at CoSchedule—and you can now schedule Pins to Pinterest with CoSchedule—I thought I’d share her tips and research with all of you, too.
Sound good? This is about to get Pinteresting. (I know… maybe I should quit the jokes.)
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Optimize Your Pinterest Profile To Get More Followers
While your Pins are likely some of the first things potential followers see from your brand, Neil Patel notes it's super important to optimize your Pinterest profile to help you get more followers.
This is likely due to the halo effect, which is the psychology behind first impressions and physical attractiveness—something super important for the visual audience who loves Pinterest. In its most essential form, the halo effect suggests that when people have a positive experience with you, they're more likely to expect positive experiences in the future.
Whoa! So if you make a good first impression, doesn't it make sense that you could get more followers because they'll expect favorable outcomes in the future?
So filling out your profile helps potential followers see you're not a fly-by-night Pinner while giving you the chance to share information about your blog, brand, and your other social networks.
While there are a lot of different fields to look into while fleshing out your Pinterest profile, here are the ones that will make a difference for getting more followers. Go to Settings to get started:
1. Help Potential Followers Find Your Pins Through Search Engines
Start with your Business Account Basics and slide the Search privacy button to No. This way, Pinterest will allow search engines to crawl the content you Pin which could help you get more visibility in image searches with popular search engines like Google.
2. Complete Your Pinterest Profile To Instantly Boost Your Credibility
Then, in the Profile area, fill in your Business Name and Location.
- Your Picture could be a professional-looking logo for your business or blog (remember the rule from the halo effect with physical attractiveness).
- Create a Username that will get pulled into your Pinterest URL, so as a business, using your company name probably makes the most sense.
- Add a brief description of your business and the value you offer potential Pinterest followers in the About you field.
- Wrap it up with one of the most important fields: Confirm your Website. This field helps Pinterest verify your site so you can use Rich Pins to add bonus information for article, movie, place, product, and recipe which get Pinned by more than 2 million people every day. When you confirm your site, Pinterest also shows the verified icon on your profile, which as Neil Patel notes, "may give potential followers more confidence in following you."
3. Connect Your Other Social Networks To Your Pinterest Profile
You can also connect your other social networks directly into Pinterest. Mitt Ray, a Pinterest expert, took to Social Media Examiner to explain that this simple practice can "attract your Facebook and Twitter friends and followers to your Pinterest account."
Simply sign in to your company's Twitter handle. Then slide the Log in button to Yes. You can also connect to Facebook and Google+, but since those accounts are typically associated with a single person and not a business page, your Pinterest followers will be directed to your personal profiles.
When you connect your social profiles, you'll get the added bonus of having them appear in your Pinterest profile, which is a great way to offer your Pinterest followers the opportunity to follow you on other networks, too.
Optimize Your Blog And Social Media
4. Keep Pin It And Follow Prompts On Your Blog And Website
Nicole suggests having Pin it and follow prompts on your site to help convert the traffic you get into Pinners and followers.
For example, Social Media Examiner uses the Pinterest follow prompt on their blog:
And when you click on that button, an appealing window opens from Pinterest to help you convert your visitors into Pinterest followers:
Getting that follow button—and the Pin It button—is easy. When you're on your home page, click the gear icon and select Make a widget.
Then, in the popup, click Learn More.
Now you can create Pin It buttons for specific blog posts and also grab a follow button you can embed in your theme.
5. Embed Boards And Pins Into Your Blog Posts
This idea is an extension of what you just learned about the Pin It and follow buttons but relates much more directly to your blog posts.
Pinterest now makes it easy to embed Pins and board previews right into your posts to help you get more followers from your blog visitors. Follow the same instructions from the prior step, and embed your Pinterest content like this:
You should probably hit that follow button. Come on, you know you want to! ;)
When we recently embedded a board like that into a blog post, we received a 640% boost in Pinterest followers that week.
6. Share Your Pinterest Love On Other Social Networks
Some of your followers on other social networks may also like to follow you on Pinterest. It is definitely some people's preferred discover tool, as Nicole pointed out to me.
And it turns out, Pinterest is smart enough to help you share your Pins and boards on your other social networks easily.
You can use that functionality to share your Pins with your Twitter and Facebook followers to encourage them to follow you on Pinterest, too.
Participation On Pinterest Is A Conversation
Advertising isn't very effective because it talks to your audience, not with your audience.
Communication is different than mass marketing because it is a real conversation between people and isn't one-sided. That's how Pinners demand participation. And since that's the case, it's a great lesson to keep in mind as you try to get more followers on Pinterest.
7. Repin Often To Introduce Yourself To New Pinners
Don't be spammy. Pin at least 50/50 ratio of other content to your own. Treat Pinterest like its own entity, so get creative and CURATE.
And that says a lot. Pinterest is an information discovery engine: Like a social site fused with a search engine. Pinterest feeds on curation, and Pinners demand conformity to the culture for its participants.
Still other Pinterest experts suggest Repinning even more content by following the Pareto principle of 80% Repins to 20% of your own original Pins.
Regardless of your approach, here are the major reasons why Repinning will help you get more followers:
- You will connect with more people who share similar interests. Pinners take notice of those who Repin their work often, which can lead to follows.
- You will build robust boards of curated content to vet your ideas. By Pinning other folks' content to your boards, you can see which boards get the most followers and double down the time you invest into creating original content to increase your followers even more.
- You will show potential followers that you're not just out for #1. A while ago, Paul Wilson at Pinnable Business built an audience for a new Pinterest account of 6,275 followers by focusing on building a community. Curating and Repinning were an undeniable first step.
8. Follow Pinners Who Already Love You
As Aaron Lee explains, "Following 5 to 10 people a day can make a huge difference compared to waiting for people to follow you."
That makes sense, especially since you know Pinterest relies on participation—and especially at first, you might have to make the first move to grow your following.
Just click through to see those Pinners' profiles and follow them.
Make sure that you trust the source you're Pinning from. If it's spammy or not legit, you can be flagged as spam and land in Pinterest jail. So watch who you follow because spammers are rampant there, and only Repin from trusted sources.
So how can you tell if a potential person you'd like to follow isn't that great? Spam accounts might look a little like this where they share the same things over and over:
9. Find Pinners Who've Already Pinned From Your Blog
You can learn a lot from Pinterest Analytics including:
- Your own profile's best-performing Pins and boards. Use that knowledge to share more content that is similar to your top performers. That will increase your Repins and help you reach new followers.
- Your existing audience's demographics and interests. Just like before, use that information to help you curate more content that suits their interests and plan original Pins that they'll love.
- Your top activity for content shared from your domain. This is where you can find the top Pins from your content and most popular boards those were Pinned to. That means you can use this information to find folks who already love your content so you can engage with them through Repins, comments, and follows.
The Activity tab in your Pinterest Analytics is probably the best place to start to find new potential followers. Simply scroll through to find the Pinners who gave you your top Pin impressions, and the boards that were most popular for your content.
With that information, you can find the Pinners who created those boards—and those who follow them—to start building your community.
10. Ask Your Friends From Other Networks To Become Pinterest Followers, Too
Everyone seems to have their favorite social networks, so why not reach out to your existing friends to see if they'd also like to connect with you on Pinterest? It turns out, Pinterest thought that was a pretty good idea and created a Find Friends feature right in the tool itself.
Since you've already connected your other social profiles like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ into Pinterest, just navigate from your Pinterest profile to the Find Friends page.
From here, you can follow the people you already know from your other networks. Mitt Ray elaborates on this tactic on Social Media Examiner, "As you follow people you already have relationships with, they’ll be very likely to follow you back."
11. Follow Your Competition's Pinterest Followers
When content marketer Matthew Barby decided to start a food blog from absolutely nothing, he wrote about his experience getting his initial followers. One tactic that worked for him involved researching his top competition and following the boards of his competitors' followers.
Matthew walks through those steps:
- Follow 50–100 of your competition's followers' boards every day for about two weeks.
- Create several boards every day to rival the ideas your competition shares, adding 2–3 boards a week.
- Pin great content from your own blog or website to get a solid foundation for those boards.
- Repin about 10 Pins twice a day to each of your boards.
This process, combined with solid content strategy, helped Matthew get an initial 515 Pinterest followers for a very competitive niche. The best part is that you can follow his advice and experience similar results.
12. Meet New Pinners Through Great Group Boards
Here's another Pinterest tip from Nicole:
Get into GREAT group boards, but don't go crazy with Pinning. When people follow those boards, they see your content, which could influence more shares. You want to find group boards that have high followers and relatively low contributors.
When you join a group board, you will instantly have access to more followers—to every Pinner who already follows that group board. Seems like great advice, so how can you find group boards that are right for you to contribute to?
Start with PinGroupie. It's a database site dedicated to helping Pinners find group boards. You can sort tons of boards by category, then number of followers to narrow the group boards to that of your niche that have a larger following with fewer contributors.
Group boards are especially helpful for getting more followers because when a Pinner chooses to "Follow all" of the boards from the creator, they also subscribe to receiving Pins from you through that group board.
13. Create Your Own Group Boards To Build A Community With Pinners You Love
While existing group boards are a great way to tap into the leg work someone else has done to grow their Pinterest following, you can start a group board yourself and invite Pinners you already respect to join you.
Just create a new board by hitting the + Create a board button, then invite other Pinners to contribute to your board.
Now, most group boards have ground rules and structure. A good place to start is by building the board out with a following using all of the advice you've learned from this post, define your rules for participation, then invite others to join you once they can see the benefits of Pinning with you are worth it.
Here are a few things to consider as you come up with your group board contribution guidelines:
- What topics are appropriate to cover in your group board?
- How many times can a contributor Pin to your group board per day?
- How will you handle new Pinners who ask to contribute?
Write your guidelines up briefly, then add a note into your board description on how people can contact you to join.
14. Host A Contest To Increase Your Engagement
Let's start this off by acknowledging that Pinterest is a bit wary of contests in general because marketers have abused them in the past. To run a successful contest and not end up in "Pinterest Jail" as Nicole calls it, follow their acceptable use policy:
While that sounds like a lot of things that you shouldn't do, that leaves you with a few creative ways that focus on real engagement (which is, after all, what your potential followers really like anyway):
- Create a page on your own website to cover your rules, share how you'll choose the winners, ask for entry, and show off the prizes you'll give away. From there, you can share Pins to your landing page that have those clear guidelines that are easy to understand.
- Ask Pinners to Pin original pictures of them using your products, coming up with their own recipes or formulas with Repins from anywhere, sharing their own stories, and so on. Often, you can ask Pinners to create a new board where they can Pin all they'd like, then they can simply provide the URL to that board to you via your contest landing page.
- Judge the winner through creative interpretation and not through number of Pins, likes, boards, or comments.
However, a contest like this can help you increase your engagement and build a community that will inevitably turn participants into followers.
15. Comment On Pins To Increase Your Reach
You can start with Popular Pins, a category that Pinterest creates with Pins that get a lot of engagement. Find a couple that you have experience with, and comment on them to share your perspective.
As Mitt Ray notes, you're looking for more than easy comments like "Nice Pin." Provide your take on the Pin, additional advice it's missing, or takeaways you've learned on that topic. Mitt says that this tactic can help you increase your visibility—and the potential of earning new followers—because you're commenting on the most popular content on Pinterest.
While that sounds smart, another very targeted way to reach more people is to comment on Pins from those who've already shared your content. Build trust with people who already know who you are by showing them the real personality behind your blog or brand.
Here's a reminder on how to find those folks: Check your Pinterest Analytics domain tab or search this query for your domain: https://www.pinterest.com/source/YourDomain.com/.
16. Mention Others When You Share The Love
Consider mentions an extension of commenting and Repinning.
You can use mentions in Pin descriptions and in comments, which "can be a great way to attract their attention and get them to follow you."
An easy tactic is to ask someone a question via a mention to spark up a conversation. The more interaction, the more likely they'll be to follow you.
Mechanics Behind The Scenes
17. Name Your Boards To Stand Out From The Crowd
Remember when you read that Pinterest is a fusion between social and search engines? That applies into the names and descriptions you use in your boards to help potential followers find your Pins.
Rebekah Radice suggests that Pinterest boards should be direct, descriptive, and personal to help you get more followers. And a few of the defining elements that make good boards stand out to new followers are solid cover images, keyword rich names and descriptions, and a niche focus.
Let's explore each of those areas to help you get more followers by optimizing your boards:
Choose your cover images
iFabbo, a resource for fashion bloggers, knows a thing or two about catching people's attention.
They offer some simple advice for choosing your cover images to make your boards stand out:
- Rock a high-quality image.
- Make it colorful or out of the ordinary to catch the eye.
- Fit it into the constraints of the board cover itself (222 x 150 pixels is the perfect size).
- Make sure it represents the topic of the board.
You can create an image specifically for your board cover following those guidelines. First, Pin the image you'd like as your cover. Then go to your Pinterest profile, hit Edit on your board, then on Cover, hit the Change button. You can choose any Pin you'd like as your cover image.
Your blog likely has a content core: The magical place where you strategize what you want to say with what your audience wants to know. The process looks a little like this:
Use the words your audience uses to describe that niche in your board descriptions.
When you defined your target niche, you likely also found several sub-topics that you could cover. Use those topics in your board names to help Pinners find your content.
18. Get More Visibility With The Best Design For Your Original Pins
Some kinds of content perform significantly better than others on Pinterest. So it makes sense, then, to use the experience from others to improve your own Pins:
- Images without faces get 23% more Repins than those that have faces. Craziness.
- Red and orange Pins get two times as many Repins when compared to blue (and other dominant color) Pins.
- Pins with less distracting backgrounds get more traffic. So stick with simple designs.
- Longer is better. Design pins that are 735 pixels wide and 2:3 aspect ratio (1,102 pixels tall) to get the most traffic.
Nicole explains the art behind designing images and graphics for Pinterest:
Make sure you are using vertical collage-type Pins, which perform much better on average than regular verticals because they take up more space on a user's screen. And always, always, always consider how it looks on mobile. Small and ugly text on photos can end up being totally unreadable on a mobile device. And a lot of people are mobile pinning.
And, of course, Nicole is right. 75% of Pinterest's users rock Pinterest on their mobile devices. That means if you don't consider mobile in your design, you're neglecting how three-fourths of your followers prefer to experience your content.
19. Use Keywords In Your Pin Descriptions To Help Pinners Find Your Content
You've already found keywords for your blog posts that you're Pinning. Use those same keywords in your Pin descriptions to help potential followers find your content.
20. Pin On The Best Days And At The Best Times To Maximize Your Engagement
Pinners are more active on certain days and times than others. When we analyzed 10 studies to find the best times to post on social media, the data told us:
- Saturdays are definitely the best for Pinning to Pinterest, and specifically from 8–11 p.m.
- Next up is any day between 2–4 a.m. or 2–4 p.m.
- Try Pinning on Fridays at 3 p.m.
That's the sweeping general answer. You can Pin a lot every day, so what are really the best times when your audience is using Pinterest? After all, you are probably trying to attract new followers that are similar to your existing fans, so sharing at the peak times when they're online could help you get more followers.
So grab this Google Analytics custom report to find the best day to Pin based on your own audience (the report is also available in your kit that complements this post). When you use the report, you'll see a list of networks. Click through on Pinterest.
Now you'll see the list of days of the week when you typically get the most traffic from Pinterest.
You can drill in even further to find the specific best time to Pin to Pinterest on any day of the week.
Or use this second Google Analytics custom report if you're looking for a bit more general information just on the best time to Pin when you typically get the most traffic—omitting days (this report is also in your kit).
Just like the other report, click through on Pinterest and you'll see the times when you typically get the most traffic. 0 is midnight and 23 is 11 p.m.
21. Share More Often To Get More Visibility
How many times to Pin a day? It's a good question because if you Pin too little, there really isn't a reason to follow you, while if you Pin too much, you just get annoying.
So is there a magical number of times to Pin a day to help you get more Pinterest followers?
That was the question I explored recently analyzing 10 different studies to find a recommended minimum, maximum, and a solid starting point for how often to Pin.
Here's what that research uncovered:
- The pros all disagree. Some say a maximum Pinning frequency is 3 times a day whereas others say 20. Some say a minimum is 5 while others say 10.
- So I averaged all of those studies' data to find a starting point for an ideal daily Pinning frequency: Pin 9 times a day.
- After you get started, test sending a few more Pins, then a few less. Use the Google Analytics reports in your kit to understand if your tests had positive impacts on your traffic, then continue doing what works.
Pinterest is a high volume sharing community—so error on the side of more engagement than less.
Bonus! 22. Schedule Your Pins Throughout The Day To Keep Your Followers Happy
With her more than 1.6 million followers on Pinterest, Kim Vij knows a thing or two about building an audience. She says:
It’s probably the quickest ways to lose followers if all you do is pin tons of pins at the same time and focus most on you and your most recent post.
Mitt Ray agrees with Kim, saying:
Don’t share everything at once: Instead of clouding your followers’ feeds with your pins all at once, time your pins to go out at regular intervals.
So, what's the best approach?
- Use CoSchedule's new integration to schedule your Pins to Pinterest. Plan Pins for your own content, and use the social curation Chrome extension to add other folks' awesome content into your Pinterest schedule.
- Schedule your Pins around the peak times when your audience is most active. Use your best day and best time Google Analytics dashboards to understand when you typically get the most traffic so you can schedule your Pins to get noticed.
- Start by scheduling 9 Pins a day, with at least 5 of those being curated content.
Here's an example of what your daily Pin schedule could look like to help you visualize your work:
Now You Know How To Get More Followers On Pinterest
By this point, you're pretty much a follower-generating machine. You know how to:
- Optimize your Pinterest profile to draw in those visual-loving Pinners to become your followers.
- Optimize your blog to turn your traffic into followers and share Pins with all of your social media followers.
- Share content and participate in the conversation according to the informal rules Pinners demand that you follow.
Now go build an audience that'll help you grow your blog. You've got this!