Who hasn’t made a few mistakes on Pinterest? I know I have and no doubt still do! Marketing online and social media is a constant learning curve.
While I was flying around Pinterest boards writing my blogs a few weeks ago, I spotted several mistakes that can cripple the chance of a successful start in Pinterest marketing.
- 10 Pinterest marketing mistakes
- 1. Not using a Pinterest Business Account
- 2. Not completing your profile
- 3. Not updating settings
- 4. Uploading images and not linking to relevant pages
- 5. Hashtag overload
- 6. Not taking advantage of the image description
- 7. Pin Feed Flooding
- 8. Pinning only your own images
- 9. Using boring product images
- 10. Forgetting a pin it button on your website
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10 Pinterest marketing mistakes
1. Not using a Pinterest Business Account
Like any social site, Pinterest has it’s own terms and conditions of use.
Commercial use of Pinterest
If you want to use our Products for commercial purposes you must create a business account and agree to our Business Terms of Service.
Pinterest go on to say in their help section:
If you’re using Pinterest as part of how you make a living, whether by driving traffic to a blog that makes you some money or to build your personal brand to find customers for your products or services, you should sign up for a business account and agree to our Business Terms of Service.
There are many ways to break Pinterest T&C’s and get your account banned. Once you are banned, you are banned. At the moment, Pinterest appear to be focusing on the spammers and those who pin objectionable content.
Before you spend weeks (even months) building up traffic to your eshop, blog or website from Pinterest, take 5 minutes to convert over to a business account. That way, when they do have a crackdown on commercial users on personal accounts, you won’t find all your hard work disappearing overnight with no warning.
Don’t forget, as a business account you can use your business name, verify your website and get access to analytics too.
2. Not completing your profile
Complete your profile, upload your logo and verify your website.
- Who are you,
- Where are you,
- What do you do?
People do like knowing these things and are more likely to find you (always important!) and follow you. Use your business name and correct location – use the specific town or city where you are based rather than a general “UK”. You have 200 characters available for your description, make the most of them!
3. Not updating settings
The Pinterest account settings also help you be discovered. Connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts. These two social media sites are also linked on your Pinterest profile.
The Facebook connection is to your personal profile not business page, so that is a matter of preference. However, the more connected you are, the easier it is for people to find you.
You’ll notice every time you visit Pinterest there’s the follow and invite friends over on the right side. Everyone sees personal recommendations. They’re people who you are friends or following on Facebook and Twitter.
Pinterest is a fabulous traffic driver, but not if you don’t include a link! One of the biggest marketing mistakes made by small business owners is uploading their product images, tips, quotes or photos rather than pinning them from their website.
Pinning from your website has the advantage of carrying over the Rich Pin information. But, if you have already uploaded your images, panic not! You can edit each image and add a link.
- Hover over the pin
- Click the pencil
- Add your URL to the source box
- Click save changes
5. Hashtag overload
Hashtags are everywhere, even on Pinterest! Why people have the #urge #to #hastag #everything I don’t know. I put it down the a generation gap, my daughter even speaks hashtag…
Using multiple hashtags looks incredibly spammy and they do not help you get found on Pinterest. Did you know that hashtags on Pinterest work differently than on Twitter and Facebook?
Putting a hashtag in your description makes it clickable – just like Facebook and Twitter. Here’s the BUT…
Pinterest search doesn’t support hashtags. Go ahead, try it – I’ll still be here when you get back.
For example, I searched #pinteresttips and was forced to scroll quite a bit to see the first pin with the hashtag #pinteresttips. It’s also a great example of hashtag overload…
Which begs the question, why bother at all?
The whole point of using #tags is to enhance discoverability or brand your updates. If you squint and look at the screenshot of a Pinterest search, you’ll notice a relevant image name and description works far better than any hashtag.
You spend your time planning your Pinterest marketing, pinning your product or service images, crafting an interesting description…
…and then give people somewhere else to click by using some popular hashtag that doesn’t lead to your website or Pinterest account.
Why use a hashtag at all, unless it’s a branded hashtag?
What’s the point if it doesn’t enhance your discoverability?
Why give people the opportunity to discover your direct competitors on your product pins?
Seriously, your answers are welcome in comments.
As a marketer, I experimented with a few hashtags on Pinterest. I believed what I read about them increasing visibility. Then I sat down and looked at them. I share other peoples images on Pinterest regularly. When I pin my articles or landing pages, I’m not in the business of pointing people elsewhere – it doesn’t make sense.
Hashtags in your business name, profile or board name are not clickable and therefore even more pointless.
6. Not taking advantage of the image description
A description of your image and where it links to helps you get found on Pinterest as well as encouraging people to click. Add a description that includes relevant keywords. Don’t just leave the box blank or worse, stuff it with hashtags!
Social Scientist, Dan Zarella recommends an “ideal” length of a description of 100-200 characters to encourage repinning.
7. Pin Feed Flooding
Feed flooding is a classic Pinterest marketing mistake. Spread out your Pins. No one wants to see gazillion images from your website all at once in their feed. Resist the urge to have all day pinning sprees then do nothing for a month!
If an image you pin fits well onto multiple boards, go back later and repin to a different board. Repinning at different times has the advantage of reaching different followers.
8. Pinning only your own images
You’re a business and using Pinterest to help market your business. It is perfectly OK to pin your own images!
Strike a balance – pin your own images but also repin interesting pins from people you follow and curate images and videos from around the web that your followers will find interesting.
9. Using boring product images
People use Pinterest for inspiration and aspirations. This is particularly important to remember when pinning your product images.
Think from your customer point of view. Which image appeals?
An expensive photo shoot isn’t required! In fact, it’s a great opportunity to ask for customer submissions of your products in use. For more image tips, I loved Rob Russo’s post 7 Tips for Pinterest Pins that Get Noticed, Liked and Re-pinned. Now all I need is a creative bone in my body and I’m all set!
Perhaps this should be the first Pinterest marketing mistake? Make it easy for others to share your images on Pinterest. Add a pin it button!
Over to you…
Can you add to these Pinterest marketing mistakes? Suggestions welcome in the comments! You can also follow me on Pinterest 🙂10 Critical Pinterest Marketing Mistakes Made By Small Business Owners by Jan Kearney