The following is a guest post from Dannielle Cresp. Dannielle is a former web designer, constant dreamer and sometimes crazy adventurer. She is starting over and is on a mission to help people bring happiness (and fun) back into their homes with a dash of organisation and a sprinkle of their own awesome style on her blog Style for a Happy Home.
When Dannielle told me how rapidly she had grown her Pinterest followers, I ask her if she would share her strategy here at DMBA, and she happily agreed!
I joined Pinterest in October of 2010, and had always used it for fun and giggled to myself about people who used it “strategically”. To me, it was a space online that I could have fun and just pin what I liked, there was nothing strategic about it.
But in May I had just made the decision to completely change my business and search for what I really wanted to be doing. I had thought about possibly taking up interior design or something to do with styling. I had just over 1000 followers at the time. I set myself a crazy goal to see if I could grow my Pinterest following to 2000. Since it had taken over two years to get to 1000, I thought this was a reasonably big goal.
There’s no real “rule” to growing a following (and I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to those kinds of rules), so I just thought I’d experiment. Not only did I grow it to 2000 (by the first week of July), two weeks later I was at 3000 and on the last day of July I passed the 4000 mark. I actually doubled my July 7 followers (2147) on August 7 (4294). Crazy! I didn’t buy any (if that’s even a thing you can do) and I only asked if people would follow me (through Twitter), when I was stuck at 1994 and wanted to get to 2000 before I went to bed one evening.
I guess you’re all asking “but how did you do it?” right? There was a fair bit of trial and error but here are the main things I did:
• I organized my boards into categories that are relatively narrow. I split the 4000 pins I had in “For the Home” into boards for each room type. It took 6 days, but my followers jumped after that. Make the board name clear, it can be a fun name, but make it easy for people to know what you’ll be pinning to it.
• I only pinned good quality images. This is a must. The good quality images are the ones that get repinned.
• I made sure that every pin had a proper description when I pinned it to my boards. This one is important. You don’t need to over think it. If it doesn’t say anything, at least call it a keyword that can be searched. If it’s a bedroom, call it “bedroom”. When it’s some kind of gift wrapping that’s what I call it. As you can now search your own pins, this is also handy if you want to find it again.
• I worked out what times of the day were busy times on Pinterest. I’m in Australia so I pin at around 10pm my time (which is 8am EDT – great for my North American followers) and also at 4pm my time (which is good for the Aussies and New Zealanders who are logging on in the early evening).
• I realized how great “People who pinned this also pinned:” is and started to use it to my advantage. When you click on an individual pin, you can scroll down and see what pins others (who have already pinned that pin) are also pinning. This gives you a whole heap of new pins that you may not have seen, if the people you’re following haven’t also pinned it. Look for your most repinned pins and look at what new pins that offers you.
• I repin everything and keep my “likes” for things I’ll pin later. I use the like section to keep pins I’d like to pin later (say it’s not a busy time on pinterest or I don’t like the description and want to change it before I repin – I use it a lot when I’m using Pinterest on my phone, as descriptions are easier to write on the computer).
• I only pin what I actually like. People will get to know your style and what you like if you’re consistent. Don’t pin things you don’t like because you think it will bring you followers, that’s just too much work. Let your Pinterest boards be just the pretty things that you like and it will be easier to maintain.
• I use Pinterest to “build my brand” by having boards that relate to what both me and my blog are all about. Think about having boards that relate to what you do. Think complimentary products rather than competitors (if that worries you). For example, I’m about Style for a Happy Home so I have boards for each area of the home plus: awesome party ideas, great gift wrapping, gift ideas, organize my world, etc – all related to what a happy home is made up of, for me. I also have boards for business and motivational quotes as they share a bit of my personality (and I am just a sucker for a good quote).
• When it comes to designing pinable images for my own blog (for which I have a board for them) I only use great images – even if I have to take the shot 100 times. I write the title of the post on the image – which makes it easy to see there’s something more than a photo and they should click through. I write the description for people who want to pin directly from my blog. (The Title field in WordPress is what will show in the Pinterest description if they use the Pin It button) This makes it easy on your pinners as they don’t have to think of something. I use the title of the post in that description and the name of my blog.
• I don’t link it with Facebook, or post to Twitter, because you would unfollow me if I posted 30 tweets all of pins in 20 minutes (and I would totally understand why!!). Sometimes I’ll post one if I want to share something in particular, but I figure that if you really wanted to see my pins, you’d follow me on Pinterest.
There’s no science to it, really. Most important of all is that you’re there. Some days I will only pin one or two things, and others it will be a pinning spree. If I feel like I’m pinning too much on one topic, I ‘like’ them and pin another day. It’s good to have those reserves when you don’t have much time to spend, but want to show you’re still there.
Also, make sure it’s fun and something you want to do. If you really don’t like it, you don’t have to do it. Pinterest is my online happy space and as a bonus I love how it brings new readers to my blog because they like what I pin. This experiment has exceeded all my expectations and I can’t wait to see what I learn next.
Thanks for having me, Megan!
Need more tips on growing your Pinterest following? Check out Part 2 of this series!
Want to turn those Pinterest followers into more traffic for your website? Check out Part 3 of this series!
Want even more help using Pinterest to market your business? Check out Megan’s class on Creative Live, Pinterest Marketing for Makers + Designers.Pin It