Pinterest is a powerful marketing tool for those fortunate enough to have a substantial audience. But how do you grow a following that numbers in the tens of thousands? More importantly, how do you do this when you have a business to run and time is limited?
To learn more about what it takes to be successful on Pinterest, ViralWoot reached out to one of our users, Jill Harness. Jill has helped brands develop five-figure audiences on Pinterest. She is also a writer for Rue the Day, Neatorama and Oddee. In addition, she operates social media accounts for Neatorama, The NeatoShop and Today I Found Out, as well as the Pinterest accounts for Nerd Approved Media, which includes Nerd Approved, Fashionably Geek and That’s Nerdalicious. Here’s what she had to say.
Give us some background on your business. What do you do? How did you get started?
I started blogging years ago and have been writing for Neatorama for about six years now. A few years ago, I got obsessed with Pinterest and when I realized that I was not only enjoying it but also seeming to attract a lot of followers, I asked the owner of Neatorama if he might give me a shot at building up his follower base on the site. I did so well with his Pinterest that eventually I ended up taking over as the social media manager on all of the site’s channels.
Eventually, I reached out to a few people who run sites that have a relationship with Neatorama and offered to assist them with their Pinterest or Facebook efforts and that brings us up to date.
How are you building your following on Pinterest?
I do a few things to attract viewers on Pinterest, but the most important thing is to remember the old adage that “content is king.” All of the sites that I work with are content-based, so I add photos from our blogs every day using ViralWoot. It’s a great tool for helping me schedule out all those images throughout the day rather than just adding a block of them once a day.
Aside from that, I really try to have well-curated boards. If I notice a lot of posts aren’t fitting into other categories, I’ll go out of my way to create a new board that can incorporate them all. At the same time, I think it’s important to not have too many boards as I think that could intimidate potential followers. Every few months I’ll actually look at our boards with the lowest follower counts and see if they might be better off being combined with one of our better performing boards.
I also really make an effort to follow people that bring us a lot of repins or clicks according to the Pinterest analytics so they know we appreciate them and will hopefully pin more of our content.
How do you engage with your Pinterest audience?
I go through our feeds at least once a day and pin photos that come from other sites that relate well with our content. I also try to follow boards of our most active fans, respond to comments and join related group boards.
What’s your most favorite tactic?
My preferred Pinterest marketing strategy is reviewing our analytics. It’s always interesting to see what pins are performing well and what kinds of people are sharing our content the most.
How much time do you spend on Pinterest marketing? How do you make that time productive?
I probably spend a few hours every night sharing pins from all of the sites I work with. ViralWoot makes scheduling those posts easy to the point where I watch television while I do it, which is nice because the work is not particularly involved and it makes it even more enjoyable.
How do you use ViralWoot for marketing on Pinterest?
I like getting new followers through ViralWoot, but I find the scheduling feature to be the most beneficial. It’s just nice to not have to post all of my pins at once so hopefully they’re seen by as many people as possible throughout the day.
What role does Pinterest play in customer research?
Since most of the companies I work with post blogs, we don’t really need to research customers all that much, but it is useful to see what resonates well with people. For example, if everyone is obsessed with Deadpool emojis, we might post more emojis or more Deadpool stuff than we otherwise would.
What words of wisdom do you have for someone just getting started marketing their business on Pinterest?
I would recommend spending a lot of time on Pinterest in the beginning so you understand how it works. I see a lot of companies and websites with two or three boards and that’s not the point of the site and it’s not going to get you a lot of followers. Then, once you really understand what you’re doing, set up an account with ViralWoot so you can schedule out posts according to when your target audience is actually using the site.