“I use Pinterest for fun, so it will be easy to manage it for my business.”
One of the most challenging types of clients for social media marketers to work with are the individuals who think that because they use social media on a regular basis (for fun), that they know what’s best for their business page. Sure, you’ve been pinning and getting ideas on how to decorate your kitchen for a few years, but does that mean you’re aware of the best times of day to post for maximum engagement, how to make your Pinterest account SEO-friendly, or how to properly name your boards or create descriptions? Too often, the answer is no.
Here at THAT Agency, we manage Pinterest accounts for clients from a variety of industries, and have witnessed firsthand what an amazing platform it can be to showcase a brand’s services or products, connect with consumers, and drive website traffic. However, we also come across many brands that are making big mistakes that hurt their marketing. Here are some of the most common Pinterest marketing mistakes we see:
1. Being overly self-promotional
Remember this: It’s called social media for a reason.
Many Pinterest rookies don’t understand the importance of sharing content. They’re eager to set up their Pinterest page and promote their products as quickly as possible. This strategy is not going to help them gain exposure, engagement or followers easily.
To have success on Pinterest, it’s crucial to share lots of content from other likeminded brands, build an audience, gain trust and then post about your products. Although the results are not instant, we promise that this will help you be more successful in the long run.
We recommend the 80/20 rule: 80% of your pins should inspire, educate, or entertain your audience, and 20% can be about you brand or products.
2. Picking bad board names
Some users will follow all of your Pinterest boards, but others will only choose to follow some. How they decide which boards to follow have a lot to do with the name. Here are some naming mistakes to avoid:
Naming boards with vague or irrelevant names- i.e. Guest Posts, Random Pins, Other Pins, Miscellaneous, Randomness, etc.
Long board names that cut off- Like email subject lines, if someone can't understand the board name without clicking, they may move on without taking the action you’re looking for.
Artsy/over creative names- You’ve seen them before- board names with hearts, symbols, or spaces between every letter. While some may not necessarily hurt your SEO, they certainly don’t help.
3. Not completing your Pinterest business profile
It’s important to make sure your Pinterest account is a Business Account, and complete all parts of the profile. This includes adding a branded logo, writing a clear, detailed description in the (200 search-engine-optimizable character) “About” section, and adding and verifying your website URL.
Although it takes some time, this stuff is fairly easy to do. Pinterest will even let you convert a personal account into a business one - so definitely don’t skip this step.
4. Not linking to the proper product pages
Product pins that don’t link back to a product page miss out on an amazing marketing opportunity. If a user is interested enough to click through to your site, why would you make them search for the product?
5. Not writing strong descriptions
Publishing pins without including a description means that your pins will not show up in a Pinterest search, greatly reducing the odds of getting clicks, likes and repins. It is also thought by search marketing experts that strong Pinterest descriptions may help with SEO, so don’t skip writing them!
Hashtags are can also be effective when used properly, but don’t over-do it. No more than two or three hashtags in one post.
6. Pinning boring or low quality images
Which of the two images below are you more likely to notice and repin? While Alex & Ani typically does some great things with their Pinterest marketing, I’m not in love with those white backgrounds.
On Pinterest you’re constantly competing with other pins, so it’s critical to make sure your images are eye-catching and compel users to click. It’s also important to follow these best practices when it comes to images:
- Make sure the image matches the pin title and description
- Choose images that are large, vibrant and beautiful
- Avoid images that are small, blurry, or low quality (be careful with images taken on smart phones- they don't always look so good blown up)
- When using an image you didn’t create yourself, obey copyright laws and give proper credit