So far it’s been a fun experience. That’s the only way to describe Pinterest – it’s fun but also highly addictive if you let it be. We like to spend no more than 15 minutes a day on it although to be honest it can end up being much longer than that.
There seems to be conflicting opinions on whether Pinterest is worth it or not and we are still deciding that ourselves. But we can’t make an informed opinion without giving it some effort and that involves pinning content and getting followers.
Now the pinning part is easy. Just find a photo that you like and click the ‘Pin It’ button. Up goes the image with a link to wherever that image actually came from – you can then add your description if you like and it’s done.
Getting the followers is a whole different story. We struggled with this and it took about 4 weeks to get a measly 16 followers. At that rate, it would take us a year to get a couple hundred followers. We tried following other people but that didn’t seem to work. We thought that maybe we just needed a lot of boards and pins on our page but that didn’t seem to work either.
What finally worked was a simple strategy that had almost immediate results. After using it, we went from 16 followers to 50 followers and those extra 34 followers came in just one week. But not only that, we suddenly had our pins being pinned multiple times. Prior to this we were lucky to have any of them repinned.
So what did we do?
What we did was make use of the group board option in Pinterest. This is a relatively new option which allows users to invite other people to pin on their boards.
However, that’s not how we used this. We didn’t invite people to pin on our boards – instead we did the opposite of this and went to people with group boards and asked them if we could pin on their board.
You can tell if a Board is a Group Board by the little group icon at the top of the board.
We didn’t spend hours looking for group boards. All we had to do was go to this page which includes a big list of group boards and look for those that were in a similar category to ours. In this case, our Pinterest page is about muffins, cupcakes, wedding cakes and so on.
We scrolled through the group directory page until we found a group board that related to our niche and had more than a thousand followers. Fortunately, the owner included instructions on how to get an invite from her that would allow us to pin to her board. We simply had to email her and ask, which we did, and she happily accepted us and sent us an invite.
Now this user has over 25,000 followers on her cupcakes board. That’s a lot of followers! Even so, we weren’t expecting to get the reaction we had. We pinned only 2 pins to her board and almost immediately people started repinning those pins and we started getting followers.
We were amazed.
We left it for close to a week before we pinned again to her board, only because we were relocating our office and things were in a bit of a mess plus we didn’t have any internet for that time. Even so, we still had people repinning our pins and following us during that time and this is something that we hadn’t experienced before. So those two pins generated a lot of action.
When we got back to it yesterday and pinned on her board, again we saw a lot of multiple repins and followers.
As of today we have 50 followers so it’s going really well. We are now in the process of contacting other group board owners to see if we can pin to their boards.
What you need to keep in mind…
This process obviously works but only if the following criteria are met:
1. You should already have multiple boards and pins. If you are starting from scratch and expecting others to allow you to pin to their boards then you will be disappointed. Add at least 10 boards and multiple pins to each board before requesting an invite.
2. Your pins should be of a high quality. Don’t pin rubbish and don’t automate your pins so that anything and everything goes up. Be choosey about what you pin to your own boards so that it looks amazing when people look at them.
3. Only pin to group boards in the same niche. There’s no point trying to pin unrelated things to a group board. You will only get banned and at the very least people will just ignore your pins. Choose boards in the same niche or category so that you get people wanting to repin your pins. If you take a look at our Yummy Muffins Pinterest page you will see that we have kept them very specific.
UPDATE: 7 March 2013 – By following the methods outlined above we managed to get another 51 followers on our Pinterest page. We are now at 101 followers as I write this note.
UPDATE – 8 March 2013 – We are now at 191 followers.
UPDATE – 19 March 2013 – 277 followers.
UPDATE – 21 March 2013 – 305 (would probably have more but we have been a little busy with other things – the followers are still coming despite this.)