We have been using Pinterest for some time now for our craft site BUT we haven’t been at all serious about it. It’s just been one of those things that we add to whenever we upload a new video to YouTube, assuming we even remembered to do it. So when we create the thumbnail for the YouTube video, we also create a smaller version to place on the blog post for that video and that image is the one we post to Pinterest. As you can imagine, the thumbnail for YouTube videos is rectangular – wider than longer, and if you have been over to Pinterest lately you will notice that just about all of the images are taller than wider.
Hmm, you’d think we would have caught on sooner that we weren’t quite doing the right thing when it comes to posting on Pinterest. It was only when we were checking out Google Analytics and we noticed we were getting a decent amount of traffic from Pinterest that we thought we had better get a better handle on this Pinterest stuff. I mean, despite posting images that weren’t the best, we still managed to get around 300 to 400 visitors a week from Pinterest. We knew we had to get serious about it.
It was time for some research which brings me back to the image size, which according to most Pinterest experts, was extremely important and it was one of the most obvious things we could change. So change them we would, but to what size? Good luck with that one. Everyone had a different opinion on this and really odd numbers too like 736 x 1128 or 564 x 1692. Meh, I would never remember those sorts of figures. I personally went with 800 x 1200. Nice clean and simple and they look good. I could even make it longer than that if I wanted but basically I kept the images taller than wider.
I created about 10 different images in total and staggered them out over a period of about 5 days. I didn’t really take much note as it didn’t look like anything was really getting pinned but I know now that it can take a couple of days for Pinterest stats to start showing up.
Also and this is important, the number of clicks (visits to website) that Pinterest shows up for the image in my stats only refers to the clicks from the image that I personally uploaded. If that image is re-pinned by others then that image can also get clicks through to my website. The more people that re-pin your pin, the more likely you will get more traffic.
You can see the jump in activity in the Pinterest stats from around the 29 January.
According to Google Analytics, we received 7280 visitors from Pinterest to the website for the period Dec 28 to Jan 5, that was just for 10 images. And just as a comparison, for the week prior to that we received 359 visitors from Pinterest.
Sound good? I think so.
I think it’s fair to say that the taller images do so much better.
It’s only been a week or so, so anything can happen at this point. It might be a case of initial traffic and then it trails off over time. However, we have over 250 posts on that craft blog and not all of them have been pinned to Pinterest and those that have were in the wrong size. So I think we have plenty to work with. We will see how it goes.
Let me know in the comments if you are using Pinterest and what works for you.
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.)