How to make the most of Pinterest and get more followers

A few weeks ago I brought you 10 things you didn’t know about Pinterest, a compilation of tips, new features and shiny little hidden gems that many of you hand-on-heart admitted you didn’t know about everyone’s favourite inspiration (and time-sucking procrastination) platform.

Because the initial list went down so well, I’m back today with a round-up of ways to make the most of Pinterest, whether you’ve just started using the platform and want to get into it, you’re a seasoned pinning superstar and want to drive traffic elsewhere or you’re just greedy and want droves of new followers.

Feel free to add your tips to making the most of the virtual pinboard service and becoming Pinterest famous in the comments below.

Save your photos properly on your computer. Yep, that’s a thing. Many people think it’s all down to how you label your photos once you’re in Pinterest, but according to the Pinterest team search will also check out how the photo was originally labelled too. This means if you’re uploading something original and want people to be able to find it, label it properly on your computer. Choose something specific yet simple.

Label them well within Pinterest. So granted this one is much more obvious, but unless you’re using Pinterest purely for a personal inspiration space no one will ever find you or what you’re pinning if you don’t put a bit of time into labelling your pins. It doesn’t have to be long descriptions or dreamy poems (although that’s fine, just not necessary), just tell people what it is, maybe why you chose it. You can use hashtags too. I’m not sure they hold the same search gravitas within Pinterest (I’ll look into this for you), but there’s no harm in adding keywords after descriptions to ensure your pins will show up in relevant searches.

Conduct some test searches before you label. We’re getting deep into the realms of search now, but if you’re keen to up your follower numbers quickly I’d recommend investing some time in figuring out just how Pinterest search works. If you’re pinning tonnes of photos of hairstyles, sit there and search for different hairstyles trying words like ‘platinum’ or ‘short’ after them to see what kind of results they yield. Long and boring? Yep. Likely to amp up your pins and get more people to click on them? Totally.

Keep boards specific (but interesting). There are lots of people out there who label boards with strange names and all kinds of different punctuation marks ^^//!!!. This can look a bit quirky and make your profile stand out, but it’s not going to hook line and sinker people who only use search. Either make a commitment to your weird labels and supercharge your content in other ways, or just be more normal and label your boards with things people will actually be searching for.

Post original content. I spend hours, okay, okay, entire weekends lost in the depths of Pinterest. But often I’m just re-pinning and furiously liking everyone else’s stuff. If you want to stand out, upload original content. It doesn’t have to be yours, just go photo hunting elsewhere and don’t rely on the platform itself to keep your creative juices flowing.

Post your own original content. Of course if you are a blogger or photographer or designer or anything else that relies heavily on visuals then do feel free to post original content. In fact Pinterest is often cited as one of the biggest traffic drivers to external websites, so if you’re in the process of growing a business you can’t afford to not sign up and get pinning.

Use Pinterest as a supplement to your online activity. Think about why you’re using Pinterest. If it’s just a bit of fun for you to turn to when you need some colour therapy or inspiration, then Pin away (!) but if you’re using it to drive traffic somewhere else or build your personal brand, then stay focused. Just because everyone else is obsessed with weddings and kittens (this isn’t at all true anymore, FYI) then don’t get sucked in and think carefully about how what you pin and when you pin it can supplement your online brand, not just muddy the waters.

Follow people with similar interests. This may seem like an obvious one, but I’ve come across so many people who complain that Pinterest is full of this and that and I’m left shouting the the heavens ‘why are you following them then?!’ Pinterest really is what you make of it. Follow people with the same interests, they’re more likely to follow back and you’ll get a hell of a lot more from your experience too.

Add a Pinterest link or widget to your website. There’s a whole section of the Pinterest website called Goodies, which is full of Pinterest buttons and widgets. At the very least you can add a Pinterest follow button to your blog or business website, but you could get clever and add a widget to a specific board to entice people to click through instead. Although you may be keen to drive people from Pinterest to your site, there’s no harm in encouraging people the other way. They might become dedicated Pinterest followers after that, making it more likely that they’ll visit your website at a later date rather than just paying you a one off visit.

And a Pinterest button. So you’ve added a widget to your website to get people to follow you, but that’s a bit self-centred given people often like to pin at their own pace. Make sure your website has a pin-it button enabled. If you’ve got a WordPress blog it’s as easy as installing a plug-in. This may not seem necessary if people have a pin-it button in their browser, but it makes the experience more streamlined and hugely ups the chances of people running wild with your content. In a good way.

Connect up social accounts. This one is all down to personal preference. I personally don’t like sending everything I pin through to Facebook or Twitter, but I do have a Tumblr that solely collects everything I pin. Think about your different audiences and who might be interested in what. The great thing about Pinterest is that you don’t need to make a commitment to have everything you pin go straight to Twitter, you can pick and choose each time – which I’d totally recommend, otherwise you’ll give followers Pin overload.

Check out some of the cool things you didn’t know Pinterest could do. Gender-specific searching, Place Pins and direct messaging, check out my earlier things you didn’t know about Pinterest list because they could change the way you use the platform or fill you with new creative plans of action.

Spend time editing your boards. Pinterest recently launched a feature that allows you to edit your boards. If you’ve got boards packed full of pins it might not matter, but if you want to get creative and build a story with a board or connect pins in some way, then start editing them now.

Get involved. If you’re serious about getting more followers, then you may want to get your hands dirty by really getting involved in the community you’re hoping to make waves in. Comment on other people’s pins, engage in conversations on your own pins and even mention other users and brands to make them more likely to chat back to you and pay attention to your content.

Got any cool tips for those chasing Pinterest fame? Meet me in the comments below!

Becca Caddy