Ever wondered what the Pinterest algorithm prioritizes? Or maybe you’re curious about what it’s like to be a Pinterest manager. Or what it’s like to hire a Pinterest manager. If curious about any of that — or about Pinterest in general — you’re in the right place!
I decided that it would be cool to continue the fun and begin a series over here on the BTL blog, Expert Interview. Once a month (ish), I’ll be interviewing a different expert from somewhere around the Marketing world to provide you guys with as much knowledge as possible. We’re kicking this year off strong with a good one: Sarah Burk, Pinterest Princess!
Just kidding, she’d never call herself that. I was trying to include an alliteration and it didn’t’ really work. She is worthy of the title, though.
Sarah is a triple-whammy, falling under three different categories as a resident expert: Pinterest, SEO, and blogging. Today, though, she’ll be gracing us with her knowledge of all things PINTEREST. As my Pinterest manager (yes, full credit to her for 99% of the beauty that lives on my Pinterest), I knew I wanted to invite her over to BTL to answer all of your (your meaning my Instagram followers and members of the Facebook groups I’m in) questions about how to succeed on our generation’s favorite social-media-turned-search-engine.
First things first, a little background. I first met Sarah the way all that I’ve met all of my favorite business friends: Instagram DM. I don’t remember who followed who first, but I definitely remember being immediately impressed upon first glance at her account. Talk about packing value into every. single. post. (I give you full permission to pause reading this post to go follow her on the ‘gram.) I stalked her website, because I was in the market for some cute new Pinterest pin templates and blog post covers, and then convinced myself I needed a Pinterest manager and she’s been in charge of my Pinterest content ever since!
(Side note: if you’re reading this post and you came from Pinterest, Sarah’s the reason you’re here.)
Now, let’s talk about how she began managing Pinterest accounts full-time. When she graduated college (UNC Chapel Hill, my old dream school, might I add — go, Tarheels!), she knew that she wanted to work remotely.
This was interesting to hear, because I feel like most people usually suffer through the 9-5 life for a few years before they come to that realization. In Sarah’s case, though, she always knew she wanted a more flexible schedule. Plus, her girlfriend’s job requires them to live in an area without many job opportunities, so working remotely was a no-brainer.
After blogging for an influencer who had her own Marketing agency, Sarah realized just how powerful Pinterest can be, and decided to learn more about it. Fast forward a little bit, and now she’s a Pinterest guru managing all sorts of clients’ accounts.
And speaking of managing Pinterest accounts… let’s get into the interview to talk more about that!
A: Essentially, they take your Pinterest off your hands and out of your brain completely. They optimize your profile, make sure you have all the techy stuff done (like claiming your website and enabling rich pins), they do keyword research so you can get found on search engines, they create pin templates for you, they research your industry so you can create the best content possible for your audience, they upload pins for you… the list goes on and on.
Short answer: because Pinterest is a search engine, not a social media platform.
Long answer: Pinterest is a great way to drive your visibility and reach, because it has an enormous and active user base (hi, 400+ million monthly users)! Also, word on the street is that Pinterest users are more ready to buy and willing to engage with branded / sponsored content than any other platform. Because Pinterest users are heading to the site to look for inspiration and info, if you’re on Pinterest, you’ll be capturing your audience before they even think to look at your competitors.
Pinterest is the second largest driver of traffic to websites, and any of your pins have the potential to show up in a search result. Speaking of traffic, it’s a lot easier to get Pinterest users off of the platform onto your website. It’s what they’re expecting to do.
Every new piece of content you upload has the chance to perform well and drive traffic for months (basically eons compared to the 48-hour shelf life of your Instagram posts).
Speaking of Instagram, Pinterest is much more hands-off than any other social platform, because once you put your pin out into the world, you don’t really need to do much else (whereas on Instagram, you’ll need to engage with your audience and respond to comments, etc). If you’re looking for a way out of the constant content creation cycle, your business needs to be on Pinterest.
BTL Note: I love Pinterest because it feels like an even playing field! When you search for something, you’re willing to trust any pin that comes up in your search if it looks professional and is aesthetically pleasing, and you don’t care about someone’s follower count when you save their pin. Anyone has the opportunity to be found, and anyone has the ability to educate.
A: Both. There’s no way around it. But if I really had to choose one? Consistency matters a heck of a lot more. I don’t want you to sacrifice consistency because you’re worried about creating perfect pins every single day. At the end of the day, the algorithm cares much more about fresh content than checking some imaginary list of “must-haves.”
If you have one super gorgeous, strategic pin go viral, but then you aren’t consistently pinning and posting more, you don’t really have a shot at succeeding. That viral pin could drop out of the search rankings in an instant, and then where would you be?
A: While there’s no set ratio, I recommend posting at least one piece of fresh, original content per day. Make sure the fresh pins have different URLs, different pin graphics, and different descriptions to avoid being spammy. No one wants to see the same pin 10 times on your profile. Anything beyond 1 fresh pin per day is cherries on top.
In terms of repinning, I recommend 5-10 pins per day, but the more you can do, the better. As a general rule, more frequently you post, the better results you’ll see. However, that being said, I have noticed a rise in the importance of fresh pins, whereas the old standard used to be “do your due diligence and repin and you’ll be good.”
A: Calls to action. Ask people to click the link, and they’ll be more likely to click it. Don’t sleep on a simple CTA! Make your titles and descriptions engaging, and entice your audience to want to know more. Promising, value-rooted lead magnets (like a simple freebie checklist or guide) are a great way to get drive clicks, because you’re focusing on the benefits you want to provide your readers.
BTL Note: If you want an example of a lead magnet to advertise on Pinterest, head over to my Resources page to download mine!
A: Like any other social media platform, when Pinterest rolls out a new feature, they want you to use it — so they prioritize your account (in terms of pushing your content to more viewers) if you utilize all that they have to offer. Early adoption of these features is a great thing to jump on because fewer people are using them (which gives you a greater chance to stand out).
That was definitely the case when Pinterest first introduced story pins, later renamed idea pins. Creators were seeing 10k impressions in under an hour, it was touted as the shortcut to success.
But it’s safe to say that the idea pin bubble has burst now. After user complaints that the feed was dominated by idea pins, Pinterest has reprioritized its algorithm to show a more equal share of standard, video, and idea pins.
Here’s what you need to know about idea pins in 2023:
A: If you’re already posting TikToks or Reels, repost them on Pinterest with a keyword-rich title and description. Repurposing your content is the easiest way take advantage of video pins and jump in on the Pinterest video action.
Using stock videos with text overlay is another great option to use more videos, or you can even use animated graphics and effects in Canva to make a simple, static graphic more engaging.
BTL Note: Use my code ‘btlcopy’ for 15% off Haute Stock!
A: Not directly. They probably go on Pinterest to look for inspiration or to learn. Pinterest describes itself as a “bookmarking tool,” which I think is a perfect explanation of what most people utilize it for. However, when you pin something from someone, the algorithm takes that as you enjoying their content, and it will then show you more of what they post.
This raises brand awareness, and will likely more traffic to your site. It’s your website’s job to then capitalize on that and convert those views into email subscribers, raving fans, and paying clients.
In summary: Pinterest provides you with the leads, even if those leads aren’t specifically searching for you on Pinterest.
BTL Note: if you want to know whether or not your website is set up for conversion, send me an email to book a website copy audit or strategy call with me and I’d be more than happy to teach you exactly how to speak directly to your ideal client and make sure your website makes them want to work with you.
A: Yes. Absofreakinglutely. As long as it sounds natural, put your keywords anywhere that Pinterest prompts you to do so: title, description, alt text, on the actual pin itself… but make sure all of those things read like a normal sentence (and not like a random jumble of keywords).
A: Kind of. The general recommendation for when the user base is most active is at night between 8pm and 11pm, and sometimes 2pm to 4pm. It’s not that deep. If you schedule your pins with Tailwind, their smart schedule tool automatically picks the best times for you.
A: I’m a huge Tailwind fan. Essentially, it’s a website that allows you to schedule your pins. It helps you post consistently, because you don’t have to manually create your pins on Pinterest daily. Instead, you’re able to schedule your pins out in one batch day and your Pinterest responsibilities are done until the next one.
A: There are several ways that Tailwind can help you, beyond the obvious scheduling function. Here are a few of my favorite Tailwind perks:
Smart Schedule. This tool allows you to schedule your pins, and it will choose the best time to post them based on when viewers are online.
It’s a Pinterest Partner. Because Tailwind is affiliated with Pinterest, you never have to worry about posting something that would break a Pinterest rule or that doesn’t align with their best practices. Tailwind will warn you if you’re posting something that isn’t the right format, and will give you tips to guide you to creating pins with the most potential to perform well.
Interval Scheduling. If you want to schedule your pins to more than one board (which I recommend you do), you can set custom intervals to make sure tey don’t get published too close to each other.
A: Both give you the ability to schedule your pins. Tailwind offers more Pinterest-related features (like the ones we just talked about), but Canva is perfectly fine if all you want to do is simply schedule a pin. Canva is also a trusted Pinterest Partner, and if you already have a Pro account, it’s a great tool to take advantage of, without having to add the additional expense of Tailwind.
One important thing Tailwind offers that Canva doesn’t, though, is Communities. Tailwind’s Communities are essentially giant groups of people in your industry that agree to re-pin or share your content on a 1:1 ratio. It’s basically a “I’ll share yours if you share mine” deal, and it brings a great amount of traffic that your pins may not have received otherwise.
A: Rich pins are basically pins with extra details attached. Have you ever clicked on a recipe, and noticed that all of the ingredients and the entire method for baking it are all present in the actual pin description? That’s a rich pin. This information is pulled from the meta data on your website.
There are 4 types of rich pins: article, app, recipe, and product. The most common types of rich pins that you’ve probably noticed are recipe and product.
Article rich pins look like any other pin on the site, except maybe they’ll have a bold title, an author description, or a publish date (if applicable). Recipe and product rich pins include things like serving sizes, prices, whether an item is in stock, etc.
Enabling rich pins is extremely important for recipe developers and product-based businesses, because it allows more information to be automatically given to your viewers.
A: It could be. Pinterest works best and is most worth putting effort into if you have a website, and are consistently publishing new content to that site. If you’re not ready to make a full website for yourself, make a simple landing page that leads to an email funnel. I don’t recommend relying on Instagram because it doesn’t get much traction as a next step.
If you don’t have a website, I still recommend getting on Pinterest, optimizing your account, and starting to pin consistently, because when you are ready for a website, Pinterest will recognize you as an already-active user and your pins will hopefully perform well once you begin to publish your original content.
BTL Note: It’s better to direct your leads to a domain that you own because you can track the metrics. If you direct someone to Instagram, you may be able to see in your Pinterest analytics that you clicked on your IG, but then you have no idea what happened after that. If they click on your website, though, you’re able to track their activity a lot better and analyze the data to help you better tailor your marketing and advertising efforts to appropriately serve your audience.
Make it interesting. Make it clickable. Make it valuable.
Honestly, those are all kind of the same thing, but let’s dive in a little more.
There’s tons of content on Pinterest. And with most users scrolling along on mobile, you need pins that are going to catch their attention and stop the scroll.
Beautiful design and compelling titles are the way to do that.
Can you put a new or controversial spin on a topic? What’s going to interest a Pinterest user enough to click on your pin?
You also need to convince them that your content is going to be valuable enough for them to spend time leaving the platform and reading your post.
Consider your target audience on Pinterest and what they’re likely to be looking for. Hint: they’re more likely looking for the perfect homepage copywriting formula than why you should hire Between the Lines Copy for your website.
Think about what the user will get from your content and put that front and center.
Other important, more general pin tips to remember:
A: The ideal would be once a week on your blog. If you can’t post once a week, you’ll have to stretch your creativity a bit and make the posts that you do have last a little bit longer. As a Pinterest manager, when my clients don’t upload as frequently, I have to really think outside of the box to create consistent content by making infographics, story pins, etc (as opposed to making regular pin graphics for their posts). I completely understand that weekly blogging can be a stretch for a busy business owner, though, so do the best you can — something is better than nothing!
A: Maybe, but like with all paid ads, they don’t hold a candle to successful organic traffic.
Generally, I focus on organic traffic and reach. My research however has told me that Pinterest ads are a low-cost option in the paid ad world. They work the same as with any other paid social media marketing campaign. You need to know who you’re targeting, and your pin needs to be extremely enticing & engaging — the goal is to get people to click on it. I’d assume that Pinterest ads would be best for product-based businesses.
Pinterest ads are a bit more affordable and beneficial than other platforms because you pay per click, rather than per impression, and if someone re-pins your promoted pin, you get those impressions and clicks for free. Your pin lives on after your campaign is over, meaning you continue to advertise even after you’ve stopped paying for it. Promoted pins also blend in perfectly, because they look just like a regular pin. And lastly, as we discussed earlier, Pinterest users are more open to promoted content on the app than on any other platform, and are also more willing to buy.
So, yeah, I’d say it’s worth it, but I can’t give you my official stamp of approval because I focus more on organic growth.
The things you do off of Pinterest matter more than what you do on it. Yes, your Pinterest tactics and strategies matter, but it’s just one part of the funnel – and the top of it, at that. Our job on Pinterest is to increase your brand awareness and visibility and send users to your website.
From there, it’s important that you have copy and content that can convert, and an email marketing plan that nurtures your leads and turns them into clients. That’s not even getting into overall brand strategy, pricing, knowledge of your ideal client, or any of the other key components of what turns a website visitor into a signed-sealed-delivered dream client.
A: If your account is already established (aka you’ve been a Pinterest user for a while but now you’ve added a business account), it will take about 3 months to see positive changes. It shouldn’t be stagnant after 3 months of consistency. If your account is brand new, expect it to take 6 months to grow.
A: Here are my advice nuggets for aspiring Pinterest managers:
Learn by doing.
Stay on top of trends (both on Pinterest and culturally).
Get familiar with different types of scheduling software (Tailwind, Canva, Later, etc).
Be confident! Be ready to advocate for Pinterest as a great platform for growth as you begin to market your services and why they’re important.
I want to give Sarah a biiiig thank you for being this month’s Expert Interview! If you want to follow her, find her on Instagram or Pinterest, or visit her website. Hiring her was one of my best investments in my business yet, and I’m looking forward to continuing our working relationship!
If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hi! I’m Sara Noel—website copywriter and marketing mentor for creatives, copywriters, and all-around cool people. If you like my content and you want even more BTL in your life, here are a few ways you can connect with me:
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