“I use Pinterest all the time for fun, so I’ll be great at managing it for my business, right?”
One of the most challenging types of clients to work with are those who think that because they regularly use social media to share photos of their dogs and get home décor ideas, they know what’s best for their business page. I mean sure, you’ve been re-pinning images of your dream kitchen and creating boards filled with healthy dinner recipes, but does that mean you know how to make your Pinterest profile SEO-friendly, or how to link to your website so you can track everything properly? I’ve learned from experience that the answer is often no.
I’ve spent years managing Pinterest accounts for brands in an array of industries, and have seen what an amazing platform it can be to showcase services or products, connect with consumers, and increase website traffic. However, I’ve come across many brands that are making mistakes that hurt their marketing instead of helping. Here are some of the most common Pinterest marketing mistakes I see:
Promoting only your brand
Remember, they call it social media for a reason.
I’ve seen Pinterest amateurs get so over-eager to create their business account and promote their products that they overlook the importance of sharing content from others as well. When building your following on Pinterest, it’s important to share content from other likeminded brands, make some friends, and then post about your brand. Look at this strategy as a marathon: it’s better to pace yourself and do well in the long run, than to sprint and burn out quickly.
I recommend an 80/20 ratio: 80% of your pins should be about sharing relevant, unbranded content, and about 20% should feature your brand and its products.
Giving boards bad names
Some users will follow all of your Pinterest boards, and some will only choose to follow certain ones. How you name your boards has a lot to do with how users select which ones to follow. Avoid these naming mistakes:
Vague, irrelevant names- i.e. Guest Posts, Random, IDK, Misc., <3, etc.
Overly long names- Just like really long email subject lines that get cut off, if a person can’t read the whole the board name without clicking into it, they may just move on.
Unsearchable names- Board names with hearts, symbols, or a space between every letter are not ideal. While these board names do not hurt your SEO, they definitely don’t help. If Google sees the name “Wedding Dresses,” it will understand what the board is about. However, it will not understand “<3 W e d d i n g D r e s s e s <3.”
Not filling out your entire Pinterest business profile
First, make sure your Pinterest account is a Business Account (not a personal account), and complete all areas of the profile. Make sure you add a branded logo, write a detailed description in the (200 search-engine-optimizable character) “About” section, and add your website URL. Make sure you also take the steps to verify your website.
Not linking to the proper product pages
Product pins that don’t link back to a product page are missing out on an incredible marketing opportunity. If a Pinterest user is interested enough to click through to your website, make sure they are being taken to the correct product page. You can also take this a step further by creating custom URLs, so you can see exactly which pins are sending traffic to your site.
Not writing strong pin descriptions
Adding pins without a good description means that your pins are not going to show up in a Pinterest search, reducing your odds of getting clicks, likes and repins. It is also thought by search marketers that robust Pinterest descriptions may help with SEO.
If your pin features a product, write a description about exactly what the product is. Make sure to include the brand and name of the product.
Pinning small, dull, or poor quality images
On Pinterest you’re constantly competing with the other pins that fill the screen, so it’s important that your images stand out and make users want to click on them. Here are several best practices when it comes to images:
- Choose images that are large, vibrant and attractive
- Avoid images that are small or low quality (be careful with images taken on phones- they don’t always look so great enlarged)
- When using an image you didn’t create yourself, make sure you obey copyright laws and give proper credit