Thursday, April 13, 2017

Growing a Pinterest Following: Case Study Results

At the beginning of March 2017, I started a case study (check out the original post here) in hopes that I'd be able to organically grow my Pinterest following and expand my reach. With a little to do list in my mind, I set out to build my brand on Pinterest so that I might be able to increase my engagement on this blog, but also my small business, KFPrints.

Ultimately, this case study was a HUGE success.

Doing just these 7 things, I was able to grow my following by leaps and bounds and increase engagement by a ton!

Here's The Plan I Followed:
  1. I will pin every Etsy listing and blog post I have. This is a pretty standard tip across the board. Whether you are trying to promote your products, small business, or blog! Pin everything! Don't let a post or product slip under the radar. 
  2. I will follow at least five new accounts every day. Why is this important? To extend your reach, at least in the beginning, it is important to make connections!
  3. In addition to pinning my own pins, I will pin at least 5 pins that aren't my own daily. Just like on other social media platforms, it is important to share other's work and engage with the community. 
  4. I will attempt to join a collaboration board. Some of these boards can be pretty exclusive, but by joining a collaboration board, you not only make community connections, you also promote yourself to the other members followers.
  5. I will daily spend some time in my home feed. Just like you would on Instagram or Twitter, engage with the people you are following! Comment on their posts. Like their pins. And repin their pins if they are relevant to you!
  6. Weekly, I will search my new followers! I will follow the good ones that pin things I am interested in.
  7. I will design images that are Pinterest friendly and schedule them to post frequently. Longer images that are more visible in the vertical feeds, and keep my images relevant.
Those 7 steps helped me so much. Just check out my before and after stats!

That's a giant increase, if you ask me! Especially after just one month! 

If I'm honest, I'd never understood how people get such huge followings on Pinterest before this study. But after doing this experiment, I am going to tell you that Pinterest is one of the easiest social media platforms to grow! People on Pinterest are there to engage. It's just how the platform is designed. If you like something, you pin it. And if you like something enough, you follow that person's pins because, well, they're awesome. It's so simple.

I can definitely see why people use this awesome site to promote their blogs and shops! For example, Pinterest went from my 8th highest traffic source on Etsy to my 4th highest with only Etsy and Etsy App searches, and direct traffic above it! That's fantastic!

Here Are My Favorite Tips:

1. Pin EVERYTHING! I mean it. If you have a new product in your shop, or a new post on your blog. PIN IT! Pin every pinable image. It will help you increase your reach because more people will see you in searches because you'll have more images to show up in searches. It helps.

2. Try to show your brand on your Pinterest. Make sure every pin has a cohesive look. Just like you would on your blog or in your shop, you want to have that same lovely look on Pinterest. You can do this by designing your images with a similar feel or style. Choosing cover images for your boards is very important as well because it will help tie in your brand. 

See mine below? I've made sure to match my blog's style to my shop style, and that helped me to have a cohesive look on Pinterest as well. Now when people come to my profile, it looks clean and pretty, but it also helps when people are in searches to recognize your style when they see it!

You don't have to have a specific background like I do to create a style. Using a similar color, or all bright colors, or all pastels, or similarly styled graphics, or fonts can all help you create eye catching and branded images. Maybe your products look great outdoors, make that your brand! Maybe everything you do is black and white, so make your brand monochrome! Do what fits your style and your brand! I use the bricks because I sell prints. They are how I show off the wide array of prints I've created, and it's a brand I've been able duplicate in my blog. 

3. Following others helps a bunch. Pinterest isn't a one way street. If you want people to engage, then you best be engaging! Pinning other people's pins, liking their items, commenting (yes, you can and should comment on Pinterest), and following other users is one of the best ways to increase your own following and boost engagement. 

4. I created my own collaboration board and invited similar users to post to it. I was also invited to join two other group boards. Now the pins that I share to those boards are not only seen by my followers, but to the followers of those other board contributors! This is an awesome way to get your pins seen! I have really enjoyed being part of the group boards and would love to join others in the future! 

5. Creating long images that are Pinterest optimized is a huge factor in gaining more engagement! HUGE! Pinterest is a vertically inclined platform. If you have horizontal images, they're going to disappear in the feeds. If you go to your Pinterest feed, you'll notice that most images are long and tall. I call these "Big Boy" images. I always made sure each blog post had at least one long image, and I took a lot of time in March to update my images on Etsy to make them longer. See the difference below?

The Run Down:

This case study was an awesome success, if you ask me. Pinterest is quickly growing into my biggest traffic bringer and I couldn't be more happy with the results of this experiment. I encourage you all to try this study for yourselves! I'm sure you'll see great improvements in your own engagement! 

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