Using Pinterest as part of your small business marketing strategy can be hugely beneficial (without taking up a ton of your time). That said, there are quite a few mistakes I see entrepreneurs consistently making that make me cringe. And not out of a place of judgement, but rather a “been there, done that, don’t want to go back” cringe.
As much as Pinterest is now a great traffic source for my site, I used to suck at it! Like, really… I had no idea what I was doing at first. Luckily, I’ve since learned a lot. Psssst… side note: I threw all that knowledge into a Pinterest marketing course of my own. (For all my Schitt’s Creek fans, “I love that journey for you.”)
If you want to avoid a mental, “Ew, David,” let’s walk through the top Pinterest marketing strategy mistakes I see regularly…
Pinterest for Business Account
Or rather, a lack thereof. When I see entrepreneurs using personal accounts for their business, I say a silent prayer. Without a Pinterest business account, you can’t effectively use all the features Pinterest makes available… including Pinterest Analytics, which I’ll dive deeper into in a minute.
Click here for my free video training & PDF if you: 1) have been using a personal account for your business or 2) want to learn how to optimize your account from the get-go.
Pinterest SEO Mistakes
First off, it’s worth repeating… Pinterest is a search engine, not a social media platform. So, when it comes to pinning, you want to be a bit more strategic than just writing a pretty caption.
Make sure you are using keywords in all the available areas. It’s the only way to make sure Pinterest can feed your pins / content to users for relevant searches. There are six main areas you should ALWAYS use keywords:
- Pins (Titles & Descriptions)
- Boards (Titles & Descriptions)
- Your Page (Title & Description)
That said, don’t teeter too far to the other end of the spectrum. Using only keywords separated by spaces, commas, or symbols in these areas can hurt you more than it can help. It’s considered keyword stuffing and provides a spammy user experience. Because Pinterest wants to protect their reputation, they’ll be more hesitant to share your pin in search results.
Pinterest Marketing (for Other Businesses)
Scratching your head yet? You wouldn’t believe the amount of time business owners (past me included) spend sharing pins for other businesses, while completely neglecting their own.
Look, as a local Tuesdays Together co-leader, I’m all about community over competition. Pinterest actually rewards this behavior because the entire intention behind their design is sharing content. That said, exclusively pinning content from other businesses will not help yours grow.
Try to keep a balance. If you have plenty of content from your business to share, pin 70% your own content and 30% other business content. If you want to pin consistently to build your Pinterest reputation, pin as much as you can for yourself and fill in the gaps with other content.
Either way, just make sure you’re not pinning content from a business who is a direct competitor. For instance, if you’re a light and airy photographer from Phoenix, AZ, I would avoid pinning content from other local light and airy photographers. Instead, you could pin work from a local florist or event planner.
This type of content will complement your own and help ideal clients find you because it’s relevant to your biz without being a direct competitor. Another reason you may not want to re-pin another similar photographers work to your own boards is that it could confuse the users (as they may think the work is yours).
Pinterest Metrics to Pay Attention To
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of posting on Instagram or pinning to Pinterest and then never checking back in on your analytics. (Slowly raises hand.) I’ve totally been there too. When business is busy, you’ve got to prioritize what feels most important at the time.
That said, this IS an important task. If you’re pinning and never checking progress, what’s the point? You have no idea how (or if) your efforts are paying off. In addition to the metrics I’m going to cover for you in a minute, I highly suggest installing Google Analytics on your site so you can track traffic from Pinterest once they land on your site.
Here are two Pinterest metrics you should pay attention to…
- Outbound Link Clicks are most important (in my opinion) because they’re kind of the whole goal. This is how many people clicked on your pin to land on your site.
- Saves are a good way to tell what content people found valuable to save for later or share with their audience, but might not be ready for / need for themselves right now.
There are more we could go through, but I’d rather you focus on those first. Bottom line? Look at how YOUR content is performing by using the filter on the Pinterest analytics menu to show pins from your URL only. (Example in the photo above.)
Use this data to guide future content / design decisions. HOT TIP: If a pin takes off / goes viral, make another one related to it and ride the wave!
Using Pinterest for business can be a huge benefit to your SEO & overall marketing strategy, but as with anything, you have to be intentional. With the right strategy, you can see increased web traffic, more leads, and even more products sold without spending hours in front of your computer every single week.
If you want to master Pinterest in a day or avoid more of these top Pinterest marketing strategy mistakes, consider grabbing my Pinterest marketing course, Pin to Win.