Hands up if Pinterest has you confused lately? I think that would be most of us sitting there with one (or two) hands in the air. Because there has been a load of Pinterest updates in 2018 and even the top experts have been left a little baffled by it all. However, to give Pinterest their due, they recently held a Creator’s Conference with the aim of reaching out to creators and help them understand what the platform wants. Let’s take a look at some of the key takeaways that have come out of it.
What’s been going on?
Pinterest announced its first-ever Creators Conference back in March and it took place on June 5th in San Francisco. According to a lot of people, the idea behind this was to try and reach out to the people who actually make content for Pinterest who they called Creators. In other words, us. They realised that all the Pinterest updates that have taken place this year have left us all a little perplexed as to what they really want, and they decided to do some bridge building.
Lots of the top names were there – companies like Tailwind and Kate from Simple Pin Media. This means that we have a lot of information from it that comes from very reputable sources and people who work with the platform every day. Let’s see some of the top tips that they have come up with following the conference.
I liked Kate from Simple Pin Media’s look at the whole thing – she boiled it down to five key takeaways that she is using for all of her accounts:
1. Serve the pinner and encourage them to follow you – yes, followers are becoming a little more important
2. Save pins frequently – but there’s not a set, magic number per week or anything
3. Think about what a pinner is looking for and make your content accordingly
4. Keywords are still super important, especially on boards and the pin description
5. Encourage your audience from other platforms to follow you on Pinterest – get that Save button or a similar plugin into action
Implementing the changes
So let’s take a look at how some of these changes might be implemented in your daily pinning efforts. Or how you might need to change things a bit to make sure your account keeps growing.
Remember those ‘first five pins of the day’ that were a hot topic a few weeks ago? Well, feel free to forget them. One of the most interesting things from the Conference was that Pinterest doesn’t have a set time that is best to pin and are more interested in regular, steady pinning. What they are interested in is fresh content.
So what is fresh content? Basically, it is a new pin with a new description and image. It doesn’t have to be only for a new piece of content so if you have a blog with 100s of posts on it, you have plenty of content to create fresh pins for. Just make sure the image and the description are different for each pin and add those keywords and hashtags in.What does #Pinterest consider new content? Pinterest Expert Angela from @bloggingangela gives us the scoop! -Click To Tweet
Personal vs group boards
Group boards have been a standard approach for Pinterest for years and we have all spent loads of time stressing about finding them, getting accepted for them and following the rules for them. Good news is that group boards are becoming less important, so you don’t need to worry about them so much.
Pinterest created group boards for small groups of people to work together on a topic – researching a group holiday, a wedding or a big event in the family for example. Then they got hijacked by the marketers, bloggers and business folk and grew into these huge things with hundreds of contributors.
Now they are saying that huge, mixed-use boards aren’t benefiting your account so get out of them. Instead focus on your own personal boards or small, niche specific group boards. For example, if you were a food blogger and you pin a lot about smoothies, look for group board on smoothies, healthy eating, fruit recipes and such.
Keywords and boards
Keywords for boards have always been important and Pinterest have clarified just how important. They have said that the more specific the name of a board, the better. So rather than just having a board called Women’s Fashion, have four – Summer Women’s Fashion, Spring Women’s Fashion and so on. Use relevant keywords in the description and this makes it easier for Pinterest to recommend the board to people who want your content.
Also, make sure you add content to the board that is relevant for it. Don’t put smoothies pins on a board about cocktails – this will confuse the site as to what the pin or the board is about.
Archiving and seasonal boards
The old myth about losing followers by archiving a board is just that – a myth. Pinterest confirmed you don’t lose followers when you archive a board, only if you delete it. So any boards you aren’t using, just set to archive and you can always restore them later.
This is a good tip for seasonal boards as well. People thought you needed to keep pinning to them to keep them current when the time comes around. Best practice is to leave them alone until around 45 days before the event. Start pinning and move them to an active board then send them back to secret or archived afterwards.
Pinterest news a few weeks ago mentioned that the super-long images weren’t going to be showing up and this was confirmed from the Conference. Preferred sizes are either 600 x 900 or 735 x 1102 (Canva use this one) but whatever you do, keep it to a 2:3 ratio and make sure the pin is no longer than 1260 pixels.
Don’t forget you can make a number of pins with different images and headlines for each post – in fact, they are encouraging us to do this. Just keep to these sizes.
Add a save button
You need sharing buttons on your website because Pinterest said that sites with a Save button (or a similar plugin) get five times more pins than those without it. This means people are effectively making your fresh content for you – because they are pinning it, not you. So make sure it easy for them to do!
Other quick tips
There were a few other little snippets that came out in the various interviews that Pinterest did in the lead up to the conference that is worth mentioning.
- Don’t delete pins – you can’t delete all the copies of them anyway and there’s no benefit. If the pin goes to a sold out product, set up a redirect on the page to something that is in stock
- Don’t worry about manually pinning – Pinterest doesn’t see any difference between using an approved scheduler like Tailwind or pinning manually and they love consistency so set it up and let the tool do the work
- Followers matter but only relevant ones – don’t worry about quantity, aim for quality and get people who are interested in your topic to follow you
The scheduler debate
I mentioned there about the whole scheduler debate. The fact is, we don’t know what is going on but here’s some of the ideas. Some people are experiencing their account being marked as spam and shut down. Some of those people were using BoardBooster, which isn’t an approved scheduler. Others weren’t. Some people heard that using non-approved schedulers was the reason for the shutting down of the account. Truth is we don’t know. So whether you use it or not is really a personal choice.
I loved a comment about all of the latest Pinterest changes – “just breathe!” And it’s true that Pinterest has made a lot of changes, but I also think they have tried to be upfront and clear with ‘creators’ in a way that other sites don’t do. This makes it easier for us to conform to what they want and get the results we want from the platform. So just breathe, look at your analytics and see what is working for you. And don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you get stuck!
Angela is a content writer and Pinterest manager who is a bit obsessed with the platform. She loves to try stuff, learn about what experts say is working and help others get the results they want from Pinterest. Away from the computer she has 9 (yes, nine) cats and an aviary of over 200 birds to keep her occupied. If you need help with your Pinterest keywords, you can grab her free Pinterest keyword checklist at http://skylarkvirtualservices.com/pinterest-keywords-planner/