After all her blogger friends kept telling her how cool it was, Melissa Taylor finally decided to get on Pinterest and managed to obtain 1 million+ followers (now nearly 1.5m) in only 9 months.
How did she do it?
Her advice to brands is simple: Focus on being awesome, not getting followers.
Shortly after she hit the million-plus mark, Melissa published a book called Pinterest Savvy: How I Got 1 Million+ Followers so she definitely has a thing or two to say on the subject.
The most influential people on Pinterest are bloggers and social media influencers – also known as tastemakers. Brands can learn a lot from how they grow and maintain their followers, who’s numbers continue to swell as the platform steadily increases its user-base.
Learning from people like Melissa Taylor, Brittany Cozzens, and Joy Cho (still reining supreme at 14.5m followers) are useful case studies for brands looking to generate sustainable returns from their Pinterest marketing. Here are 5 useful tips from successful bloggers, and brands, on Pinterest:
1. Pin During Peak Times
Studies show most people are on Pinterest in the afternoons (14:00 – 16:00 EST) and evenings (20:00 – 01:00 EST). Aim to schedule content during those peak times, which is easier with publishing tools, like Pinster.
You shouldn’t overwhelm your audience with pins, but at the same time don’t publish too little. A recommended scheduled number is between 5 and 10 pins at a time. Other times when there are visitor spikes are during breakfast, lunch (increasingly from mobile devices) and dinner.
2. Size Matters
Taller gets more repins. Melissa Taylor, other Pinterest power-users, and social media marketing professionals, have all tested this theory, and it works. Other tricks for increasing repins, likes, followers, and ultimately traffic to your website include using text in the images.
You can manipulate the images to ensure the photo beneath so shows through a text box, or use your branding like a watermark, potentially with a web link. This is good for brand awareness, SEO, and turning Pinterest into a major web traffic pipeline.
3. Make Your Products Pin-Ready
Melissa Taylor has singled out Bergdorf Goodman as a brand that is really on the ball. Their products – from Jimmy Choo shoes to Dolce & Gabbana handbags – benefit massively from Pinterest’s core demographic (85% women, aged between 25 – 44), and they have leveraged this to their advantage.
Melissa is particularly impressed by the Bergforf Goodman approach: “Every single product on their website has a “Pin It” button. The product description plus the company name, Bergdorf Goodman, automatically loads when the “Pin It” button is clicked. It’s perfect.”
Zina Harrington from Lasso the Moon recommends going off the beaten track for content, if you are re-pinning tastemakers: “Follow everyday people with good taste” Zina recommends this course of action because everyone has already seen their content.
There are so many lists of influential Pinterest users that anyone who wants to try and accelerate their own followers will be busy mining and repinning their content. Don’t bother.
“There are many fish in this creative ocean. Look for smaller friends and your repins will feel fresh,” Zina is quoted in Pinterest Savvy.
5. The Warren Buffett Approach
What does noted investor and billionaire Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway have to do with Pinterest, you might be wondering? Nothing, really…he isn’t an investor.
He is, however, a great example of a man who has built his career not going after the quick buck, but instead one who’s been consistently focused on sustainable long-term growth.
Apply the Buffett investment rules to social media: aim to be sustainable, consistent, and awesome, as Melissa Taylor advises, which is how she now has over 1.5 million followers.
- Pin at the right times
- Size matters
- Make your website “Pin ready”
- Find hidden gems and repin them
- Ensure your content is consistently awesome
Stand on the shoulders of the giants that came before you and put the right tactics in place early on and like Bergdorf Goodman. Like everything in social media, when done right, you will notice a steady and snowballing volume of traffic with Pinterest marketing to your website.