Followers on Pinterest.. how much do they matter ?
Updated: Jun 17
(Updated March 6th 2020)
Do Follower numbers matter on Pinterest ..? This is just one of the many topics I cover in my Pinterest private coaching sessions and workshops.
On Instagram we are so used to talking about ‘how to grow our following’ and we try to do everything possible to see that follower number grow. Perhaps that's for general brand awareness, to sell as many products or services to those followers or to reach that 'magic number' of 10,000 to achieve the holy grail of insta aka ‘the swipe up feature’ only available in Instagram Stories.
In all of these years of social media usage, followers have been such a focus for users and brands alike, important as a kind of 'social proof' that someone is
a) interested in following us, either as a person or a brand
b) likes our content enough to want to see more of it.
But Pinterest works differently to Instagram because Pinterest is a search engine, not a social media platform. Search is King on Pinterest.
A Pinner’s main intent when they land on the site is to find what they went there to find, either to buy (later down the line), to be inspired by or to plan.... AND that is made super easy for them via the incredibly intuitive and well honed ‘smart search’ meaning that a Pinner is not loyal to people, brand or company only by what inspires & helps them and by what they are searching for at that moment.
So, Pinterest's main aim is to serve up great well tuned content into your smart feed (home feed) via a process of key wording. (Find out about key-wording here)
The 'Smart Feed' is a collection of pins from the people, boards and topics you follow, as well as a few Promoted Pins and Pins Picked For You based on what your past search behaviour on the platform ie - what you've searched for, clicked on, re-pinned etc..AND also based on the name of your own boards and that's because it's going to want to serve you well by showing you content that you can Pin readily into those boards. Pinterest shows you what it thinks you want to see based on who YOU follow, what you're searching for and what you're clicking on.
Some of that content will resonate with you 'the Pinner' and from then action can be taken ie; click on a Pin, find out more, save it to one of your boards or end up on the website of origination, hence Pinterest drives HUGE web traffic.
SO.. It’s not critical to have tens of thousands of followers, if you're just starting out, your pins can reach new audiences, which brings you repins, clicks and ultimately MORE TRAFFIC.
HOWEVER ...We DO need quality followers. WHY ?
Because when you first create and Pin a Pin, Pinterest FIRST distributes it to your followers in the Follower Feed. Depending on how well it does there with those who have actively chosen to follow you, Pinterest will then decide how much distribution to give that pin. eg - Pinterest decides how much success it might attain!
SO, a Pin that gets some engagement from your followers will have their Pin distributed into search and the home feed faster and more prominently than a pin that doesn't get any action.
Stands to reason, if your active followers (fans) don't resonate with the Pin, why would those out in the wider newsfeed, therefore why would Pinterest waste their time giving it high and prominent news feed distribution...?
HERE'S WHAT TO DO ..
I hear you. Aside from the algorithm...
Whilst follower numbers are by no way as important to Pinners on Pinterest, as experienced and savvy Social Media users, we all know that it is still nice to know your following is growing and that people want to see, read or hear your content...
But you know what matters more?
If you focus more on getting more traffic, the followers will come. Followers will always increase consistently with an increase in traffic and so your focus should be on putting the best content out there on Pinterest. Get into the mindset of always aiming to add value.
Remember - KNOW - LIKE - TRUST.
Be authentic and give back wherever you can to enrich someones experience of you and WHAT your business can offer THEM.
So... I know, I know, you still want to know how to increase your followers, I haven't forgotten...
As well as having that GREAT content here’s my additional top tips for growing your followers;
Let's start with ..
1) Your newsletter
A great place to start! In your next newsletter - why not talk about how people can find you on Pinterest, why you love Pinterest or tell them about a specific project you are working on where they can find out more by following specific boards.. provide the URL to your account, boards or a post!
Provide your reader with specific links to seasonal or timely boards, perhaps around the beginning of Summer make it easy for them to see your Summer BBQ party inspiration ideas which feature a selection of your Outdoor table decorations or table wear from your online store!
2) Post about your Pinterest account on your other Social Media sites.
Share the link to your profile, a specific timely board or a single specific pin!
Ask your followers to follow you on Pinterest on a Facebook post, in a blog post shared on Facebook, in an Instagram post or on Stories in a standard story OR .. if you are lucky to have 10,000 followers then why not send people to your Pinterest account via the swipe up function in your stories.
3) On your website
Ask people to follow you on Pinterest – perhaps you have a specific place to discuss your Social Media, have written a blog post about your social media presence or can link it back tangibly in any number of ways to encourage your readers to follow you on Pinterest.
You could include it in an ‘About Us’ section. Wherever you choose, your Website is a great place to send people to your Pinterest account from.
Whilst follower numbers will never be the main source for success on Pinterest and the smart search will remain the most useful tool to the Pinner, it won't hurt at all to be growing your following and spreading your content to the people who may want to see it first!
Don't forget too.... if you know your audience well and your follower numbers increase because you are putting out great content to them then, based on the success of your pin to those in your follower feed Pinterest will then determine (via it's algorithm) how much importance to allocate your Pin to the rest of their newsfeed!
4) Use KEYWORDS
Including keywords in your content will help your content get found in search (increasing your reach on Pinterest).
You should include popular keywords in these places:
Pin images (on the text)
Post titles (make sure to have rich pins enabled, more of that later on the blog)
I am going to go into this more in depth in an up and coming blog post so make sure you head to my blog sign up.. and also keep up to date with all our news by signing up to our newsletter - we won't spam you, we promise :)
5) And finally my last tip here today ... Pinterest loves when you manually pin things, but a scheduler is the only way to go for real success. Use the amazing Tailwind app on your desktop or mobile device, there's simply no better way to grow and maintain your Pinterest account and following .. find it here.
For even faster results use 'Tailwind Tribes' to increase the reach of your posts.. Tailwind tribes are a nifty collaboration tool that allows you to get your content shared by others in your niche. It’s essentially a share for share, you help me, i'll help you scenario.. its a great way to build relationships and grow your reach and following.
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