Pinterest is a social network. The name is composed of the words "(to) pin" and "interest", which also explains its function.
pin + interest = Pinterest
Users can attach pictures to their pinboards and provide them with descriptions. Other users can then share, link or comment on them. Just like you know it from other social networks.
The background of the network is the exchange of information about special hobbies and interests. So the platform learns what you are interested in from the pins you place here and helps you to find pins from people with the same interests.
With more than 250 million users worldwide, the platform has long since become interesting for companies and online marketers. Reason enough for us to dedicate a detailed blog post to Pinterest. Not only have we answered important questions about the platform, but in the end, we've also come up with a real insider tip for you.
How does Pinterest work?
In its self-image, Pinterest ultimately wants exactly the same thing that Internet giant Google wants: to give users the best possible user experience. This is to be achieved by the way it works because, at Pinterest, the user only sees what he is really interested in. At least this is the theory.
Everything starts with the very first pin. After all, the focus here is primarily on the visual experience. Starting from pin number one, the pinboard linked to the user account gradually expands. Not only can content be pinned directly from Interest, but any content from the web can be turned into a pin.
Multiple pins can be stored on board, so you can organize and sort all your pins by theme.
We will go into more detail in the upcoming questions about the functionality.
How does Pinterest differ from Instagram?
The main difference between Pinterest and Instagram is in the content. Both are, of course, very image-intensive networks. The half-life of Instagram photos is much shorter than a pin on Pinterest. Instagram is a very personal network, whereas Pinterest lives from collected and curated content. The connection between users also differs: Instagram focuses on personal relationship. Pinterest, on the other hand, is all about personal interests. Since almost every pin is linked to a URL, referral traffic plays a crucial role at Pinterest. Instagram takes a different approach: It's not about traffic, but rather about branding and interaction.
What should I do first on Pinterest?
There are basically three ways to register with Pinterest.
Registration by email address
Link Pinterest to an existing Facebook account
Associate Pinterest with an existing Google Account
After the registration, the first pin just mentioned will be used. No matter if you put your own content on your pinboard or if you share an existing pin (i.e. "repinned"): Your Pinterest pinboard is now taking shape.
For a good start, we recommend that you follow users whose content you find inspiring. After clicking on the corresponding user name, you can do this by clicking on "Follow".
How can I create a pinboard?
Your first pinboard at Pinterest will be created automatically as soon as the first pin is created. Here you can now create boards with increasing content and "Repins" (quasi shared pins) for a better overview.
For this purpose, you will find the icon with the plus sign on it in the app under the person symbol. Now click on "Create Pinboard" and enter a suitable name for the board.
How can I keep a pinboard secret?
Not every bulletin board and every board on Pinterest is public, even if it is basically the idea behind it. You can, however, deliberately keep pinboards and boards secret. The content you place there can only be viewed by yourself.
To do this, you have to click the button "Keep pinboard secret" while creating a new board or move the slider to the right in the app. This pinboard or board is now protected from prying eyes.
How can I create and optimize a pin?
Basically, the platform is very intuitive, so you should get very far with a good old "learning by doing" approach.
Of course, it is important that you are aware of the nature of a pin. For example, if the image is in the foreground, you should use as little text overlay as possible. If it is about the message, it is the other way round. The background should be attractive and not distract from the message.
It's best to experiment a bit. That way, you can find out what your potential audience wants to see. If you're also looking to build reach, you may also want to consider making some tweaks.
You can change your Pinterest account to a company profile and verify your website with Pinterest. But more about that later.
Don't forget the keywords either. On the one hand, directly on the pin so that the user knows what it's all about. And on the other hand, in the description, because the text on pictures doesn't have a big SEO effect.
Should I rather reprint or publish my own content?
The mix does it. While there are leading pinboards with a high number of followers, which almost exclusively produce their own content, there are also profiles that are highly successful, although there are mainly reps. These repins, in turn, combined into new, exciting boards.
It is important that the pins on your pinboard match your topic. Overall, it depends on the mix, whereby beginners are often recommended to keep a ratio of 4:1.
In other words: post one Repin per four pins with your own content.
If you have strong content of your own, it is also important that it is distributed regularly. You are not necessarily dependent on your followers, but you can easily put your content online several times (different boards).
How is a pin stored?
As soon as you call up a pin that you find interesting, you can "remember" it. If you then click the button "Remember" or go to the overview, you can call this pin. Now simply click on the pin icon and choose the pin board on which you want to save the pin.
How can I delete a pin?
This is also very intuitive and simple. Go to the pin you want to remove. Now enter the edit mode by clicking on the pin icon. At the bottom left you will find the "Delete" function, which removes the corresponding pin. If the pin is your own content, it will be removed from Pinterest. If it is foreign content, only the report will be removed.
What is a pin-it button?
If you would like to pin content from the World Wide Web to one of your pinboards or boards, the so-called Pin-it-Button can help you. It is a browser extension that you can download for all common browsers.
You can get the Pinterest browser button for Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Microsoft Edge under the following link: https://help.pinterest.com/articles/all-about-pinterest-browser-button
When you come across online content for your Pinterest pinboard, all you need to do is click the Pin-it button to select the desired element and "remember" it.
Who uses Pinterest?
With more than 250 million users worldwide, just under 3% of the world's population uses Pinterest. The cliché that Pinterest is only used by housewives and leisure-time cooks is therefore outdated.
According to current figures, one in four of the 18-29-year-olds in Germany is currently registered. It is important to know that the proportion of passive users - i.e. users who do not distribute their own content - is very high. To believe that this indicates a lack of Interest is a false conclusion. It rather underlines the fact that Pinterest is an important source of inspiration for the majority of users. And this makes the platform increasingly interesting for companies.
How can I change my profile to a company profile?
First of all, it is important to know that a company profile does not necessarily have to be a company. From established brands and start-ups to registered associations or non-profit organizations and even hobby bloggers, anyone can set up a free company profile.
Of course, your existing, private profile can also be converted into a company profile. You can do this in the settings: Just click on "Set up your company profile".
>> Convert your profile to a company profile
Anyone who wants to use Pinterest sooner or later with the intention of monetizing should also read the General Terms and Conditions carefully.
How can I verify my website with Pinterest?
Very important: You can only verify those websites at Pinterest where you can edit the HTML code. If this is the case, you now have two options, which you can find in your account settings under "Verify website":
Verification by Meta-Tag
Enter the URL of your website. Select the option Add HTML tag and copy the generated meta tag. This is now to be inserted in the section of your website's index.html - before the section. Now complete the settings at Pinterest by clicking "Submit". Pinterest will automatically check if the tag is available on the website to be verified.
Verification via HTML file
Enter the URL of your website and select "Upload HTML file". Now download the output file. Now upload it to the root folder on your web server (Attention: use the main folder!). Make sure that the file is not renamed and finish the settings at Pinterest after the upload with "Submit". This is also automatically checked and verified.
>> Verify your website at Pinterest
What are Rich Pins, and how can I set them up?
Rich Pins have a much greater chance of going viral. They are not only placed more prominently in search results, but Pinterest also collects additional information such as the meta description or the blog post title. This information is stored on the website via structured data.
So there is Article Pin, Product Pin, Buyable Pin, Recipe Pin.
To set up Rich Pins, you must have a company profile, and your website must be verified. In WordPress you can, for example, activate "Open Graph Meta Data" with the Yoast-SEO Plugin.
Now you can use the Rich Pin Validator from Pinterest. There you can insert a link to a blog post or a page. After clicking on "Validate" insert your URL and apply for a Rich Pin by clicking on "Apply now".
How can I generate traffic with Pinterest?
Many pins contain links to specific websites. By using such pins and creating Rich Pins - you can generate traffic for your website with Pinterest. Whether you are a large company or a small blog, Pinterest is the right strategy for you to gain new customers or readers. Let's take a look at the seven steps that should make up your strategy.
Generate traffic with Pinterest - Step 1: Set goals
Defining goals in advance is the be-all and end-all of any strategy. Otherwise, it is not possible to determine later on how successful the strategy was or whether it is worth investing even more effort in it.
We, therefore, recommend that you set goals right at the beginning. And as concretely as possible. Do you want more traffic in general? Then define an increase that Pinterest should generate for you. Do you want to sell better / more conversions? Then take a closer look at what growth would be a realistic goal.
Pinterest Traffic Step 2: Image optimization
The Pinterest website is up and running; the goals have been defined. So let's get down to business. And here is the first step for more traffic and more attention, the image optimization. This means that you create a separate image for each of your blog articles or landing pages.
This image should then be optimized especially for Pinterest. If such a pin is pinned by other users, your visibility and the chance that someone follows the link while viewing it will increase significantly.
Pinterest Traffic Step 3: Using plugins
In this article, we have given you an overview of all the important topics. We have also touched on aspects like rich pins or the pin-it button. And at the end of the day, these are ways to get more professionalism in your appearance.
You can make it easy for visitors of your conventional website to share your content on Pinterest with plugins. This is a bit complicated in the true sense of the word since you are directing traffic from your website to Pinterest, in order to generate traffic for the website. But it is definitely not as absurd as it sounds at first.
A hint: with the plugin "Simply Pinterest" the user will see a small pin-it button as soon as he drives over an image on your website. This way, content on your website can be pinned with one click by people who may not be connected to you on Pinterest. In short: Your content will spread even more, and your Pinterest visibility will increase.
Pinterest Traffic Step 4: Create an editorial plan
We have already explained in this article that on about three to four of your own pins, there should always be a Repin, which you set for "foreign" content. While this may be relatively easy to handle, the editorial plan is still a very important step.
Because: to generate maximum visibility, you definitely have to pin several times a day. And there is another aspect to consider here, namely the question of when your target group will be online. It's true that the latest pin may no longer automatically be displayed at the top of the page. But if you deliberately move some of your more important pins into a time window when your target group is online, the visibility should still increase.
You can keep an overview with an editorial plan, as it should be the norm in social media marketing anyway.
If you think that you didn't plan to spend the whole day on Pinterest to put the pins down at the right times, then you're right: Here, too, there are practical aids.
Boardbooster is a plugin to plan PINs. Here you can plan all the pins for the next few days to the second and do all the work in one go.
Pinterest Traffic Step 5: Be perfectly set up for your topic
You will generate the most optimal traffic at Pinterest if you are perfectly positioned for your topic. In other words, when a visitor finds all the information, he is looking for on your board from A to Z. This not only increases your traffic but should also result in a corresponding number of repins so that the quality of your content will be the deciding factor in the end.
Keep your topic as narrow as possible at the beginning and work your way further and further into the context and excesses of the topic as soon as the basics are in place. In this way, over time, a rich collection of extensive information is created on a healthy foundation.
And don't forget that you can consciously use the mentioned "foreign pins" (Repins), which are part of the strategy, to close gaps that you don't serve yourself.
Pinterest Traffic Step 6: Managing Traffic
If you have followed the steps so far, know your target group and have just the right content for them, then, in the end, it is all about getting the most out of this traffic.
So make sure that the traffic is not just directed from Pinterest to any part of your website. But handle the traffic responsibly. You do this by directing it. The possibilities for opt-ins are known to be endless in modern online marketing.
However, it is often advisable to first include a first-time visitor as a prospect in an email list instead of trying to convince him or her of a conversion right away. Perhaps you can offer a free e-book for this purpose, which the user receives by email?
Pinterest Traffic Step 7: Leave room for customization
A strategy should never be set in stone. We, therefore, recommend that you always leave room for adjustments. In time, you will learn what the real lead magnets on Pinterest are in your industry. Or when the best times are to spread the pins. Or which types of content are less suitable.
So always look at it in a sporty way. Just because a thing didn't work out once, it might not be completely wrong. And just because a certain image has gone viral once, this type of pin doesn't necessarily have to be a patent remedy. So we also recommend you to have enough patience and courage to experiment!
Pinterest secret tip at the end: the group board
Although Pinterest is classified as a social network, overall, it is much more of a search engine for images. Accordingly, the number of your followers plays only a minor role here, while repins are much more important.
And you can not only force Repins with content that is simply irresistibly good, but also with our insider tip at the end. Namely by using group boards. Content that you post on your pinboard/board will only be seen by your followers. So if you want attention, look for group boards with matching themes, where every user can upload pins. This way, getting started with this platform should be a success very quickly. You provided, of course, that the content is right.
Pinterest Glossary - these are the most important terms
If you are new to the social network Pinterest, you will first have to find your way around the jungle of terms there. In the following, we have created an overview of the most important terms for you.
The pin is basically a kind of equivalent to the "Like" message on Facebook or the "Like" message on Twitter. With the difference that pins are stored or "remembered" at Pinterest. A pin is always linked to the website on which the remembered content is stored - for example, a picture. So you can imagine your pins as a virtual bookmark.
The process of remembering a pin is called "pinning". The verb is used analogously to the New German "liken".
Pinboard (Engl. board)
Whenever you "notice" a pin (see what I just wrote), it lands on a pin board. This means that you always have to choose a corresponding pinboard on which you will notice the pin. It is recommended to create several pinboards and sort them thematically. In English, this is called a "board".
You can also optimize your pinboard. For example, by adding a description next to a title. This way, a user knows immediately what kind of pins can be expected on this pinboard.
(Original) Pin and Repin
With the pins in Pinterest, a distinction must be made between the original pin and the repin.
A pin is, as described in the first point, content from the World Wide Web. Usually packed in a photo, this pin can be placed on thematically matching pin boards - no matter if it is your own or a third party's - while always keeping the link. If such a pin is newly created, it is either an original or original pin.
If other users share an original pin as just described in Pinterest, this is called a Repin. By the way, this process is also possible if the content is from outside Pinterest. So any picture you find on the World Wide Web and consider worth sharing can be repinned on your pinboards. If you have placed an original pin in Pinterest, the number of repins will be displayed next to it, i.e. "Shares" like on Facebook and "Retweets" like on Twitter.
As the English term already suggests, these are secret pin boards. Only you can see the content that you publish here, but no visitors to your profile can see it. To make a board "invisible", you can either edit the settings of an existing board or check the appropriate box when creating a new board.
A pinboard or board can also be operated by several users together. This is called a "shared board", i.e. a pinboard to which several people can attach pins. This setting can also be specified when editing or creating a new board.
Interesting here: this function is also available for "Secret Boards".
If you do not select the option of a secret bulletin board in your settings, nor do you grant other users the rights to participate in it, your bulletin board will automatically be considered a public board. This means that anyone can view it, but only you can add and edit pins.
So-called RichPins have much better chances of repins - and thus a higher probability of going viral. This is because more details are stored here. For example, the Meta Description or the title of the target page.
Note: RichPins can only be created from company profiles.
If you spend a lot of time on Pinterest or even do marketing here, you should get the Pin-it button. This is available as a browser extension for all common browsers. If you are now on the World Wide Web, you can use it to conveniently select content (e.g. images) directly on a website to save or remember them for Pinterest.
Started / Homepage / Stream
This refers to what you see when you visit the Pinterest website. Practically the equivalent of the timeline on Facebook. This is where you see multiple pins in the start feed that Pinterest thinks you might like based on past interactions. These can be pins from users you follow or pins from profiles that match your interests.
In contrast to "remembering" and following Facebook, you can also "link" pictures at Pinterest. These are collected in a so-called "Likeliest".
If you want to find the content that interests you at Pinterest, you inevitably have to network. Following profiles that you like is an important step in this process. Not only will you get new pins from these users in your start feed, but Pinterest will also remember what sparks your Interest.
Important: You do not have to follow a user altogether. If only a part of your interests overlaps, you can also follow single boards/pinboards.
Conversely, followers speak of the people who follow you themselves. And anyone who does any kind of marketing at Pinterest - even if it's just to draw attention to a particular website with their user profile - naturally depends on followers. All the more important that you sort your pins thematically well and win followers through regular and interesting content. As a rule of thumb, the chance of winning reps increases with the number of followers.
In today's blog post, we have dealt with the Pinterest platform in detail. We answered important questions for you and finally gave you a real insider tip to help you get started.
What about you: Are you already registered with Pinterest? If so, are you just a passive user, or do you also use the platform actively? If not, what has kept you from doing so far?
We are also interested in your assessment of the potential to generate traffic with Pinterest, which is why we have put together a seven-step strategy for you.
Leave us your feedback in a comment below this post!
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