Using Pinterest to promote your business? There are a few things that I highly recommend as ‘best practice’ – plus I want to tackle some misconceptions. Yep, the type that need smashing up and thrown away (sorry, that almost sounded violent, didn’t it?)
Pin like a pro
As with practically every other social media platform, Pinterest has undergone a lot of developments in the last year – one of which is its enhanced search facility. This gives users the ability to input terms into the search bar without any hashtags. Pinterest picks up all words in the title and description of a Pin – they are all allotted ‘keyword’ status of equal importance, rather than individual ones being defined as more important. The big thing to note here is that this is different to Twitter and Instagram – on these social media platforms a term has to have a hashtag inserted for it to be visible in search results. The search function on Pinterest is a cleverer than these other platforms – it instantly breaks down topics into smaller sub-topics with clickable links.
On Pinterest, hashtag searches are considered pretty unpredictable – which is why many people don’t tend to use them. General hashtags are too broad and tend to invite a range of ‘interesting’ search results. Unfortunately, many of these don’t feature the hashtag you’re actually searching for in their descriptions. It’s why I don’t recommend using Pinterest hashtags as a definitive search facility. It’s not a reliable way to help to increase awareness of your brand or service. An example of this? Do a search a hashtag, such as #kittens. You’ll see that pins with the word “kittens” in the description show up in your search results. Unfortunately, so will pins that have the word “kittens” hidden in the URL/Photo name/product page tied to the Pin.
It’s also worth mentioning that hashtags are only clickable in Pin descriptions. They are not active in profile descriptions or board names, and if they are included, this can have a detrimental effect on your website’s Google ranking! Worth steering clear!
Whilst I’m a massive fan of using them on other social media platforms (you can see that post here), I don’t typically use hashtags for clients on Pinterest as I find they don’t impact on results any more positively. That said – if you’re itching to hover and use that #hashtag, remember: less is more. As a rule, stick to 2 hashtags within each of your pin descriptions.
As an Instagram user, you can insert up to 30 hashtags alongside each pretty picture. On Pinterest, it’s not advisable to include more than two per pin. Anymore, and your Pinterest boards begin to look seriously spammy – which hugely puts people off engaging and re-pinning. A stat for you: pins that feature three or more hashtags have a detrimental effect and see a drop of 17% in engagement.
Make your boards consistent. Ideally, every time you pin, include:
1. Pin description. No more than 200 characters and should include your web link.
2. Geographical location
3. A link that refers straight back to a website and wherever possible – the blog post (or, if applicable – the services page) which refers to the pin in question.
You could also consider using a pin scheduling service – such as Buffer (you already know I’m a big fan). It’s a great idea to avoid saturating your followers’ feeds with your photos, and instead releasing them onto your boards at optimum times (use their handy beta wizard to work this out, too).
Do you have any Pinterest pinning advice you’d care to share? This content marketing gal would love to hear from you!