For the last six months, I have been spending a lot of time learning how to use Pinterest. I am familiar with writing online and promoting content on social media, but I never really learned the Pinterest system even though I was one of the first members. For the last several years, I was happy with the traffic I was getting directly from Google, and didn’t have a great desire to use another social media site.
Changes on Google
However, as many small business owners can attest, the last two years have seen a lot of upheaval on Google and several of my websites were affected. I decided that since Google was becoming more erratic, at least in the short-term, it made sense to see what everyone was talking about.
Learning to Use Pinterest
Running a small business in any industry is full of change. An experienced business owner learns to adapt to change or they cannot succeed. Learning how to market a small business is something that is ongoing and constant, even if the business is online only.
For me, that meant finding new sources of traffic to augment the Google search traffic. While I was sure that I would eventually regain lost traffic, I wanted to supplement it with traffic from new sources. Pinterest was my first choice because most of my sites fall into the industries that Pinterest is strong in.
What Did I Learn
Pinterest is a good traffic source for many of my sites. However, it requires a learning curve and daily maintenance. Like many social media sites, you need to learn how to navigate the constant feed of information and use it for your own benefit. In November, I had an account with about 600 followers. Six months later, in April, I am about to cross over the 3000 follower mark. Here is how I accomplished this growth:
- Every day I spend time looking for items to pin to my boards
- I have subscribed to sites that support my themes
- I have at least one image on each of my posts that I can pin to Pinterest
- I have added new social media buttons to all of my sites
- I rotate my boards to put the seasonal ones at the top of my profile
- I consolidate boards that do not get enough pins
- I have joined related group boards to promote my topics
- I collaborate with like-minded pinners to populate my boards
- I joined Tailwind to schedule my pins out during the day
Be a Curator
The biggest lesson to learn about Pinterest is to be a curator. While you can have one or two boards that collect your own posts, most boards should have about 20 to 30 percent pins from your sites and the balance from other related sites. You want to create boards that attract followers that meet your target customer persona. Therefore, your boards need to be useful to them.
Paula A is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.