1000 Followers, but what did I do wrong?
My first year at Pinterest has come to an end. I did get 1000 followers by the end of that time, but what do I I think I did wrong?
I started Pinterest about a year ago and was blindly repining posts whenever I got around to it.
I eventually got 1000 followers although my monthly unique viewers was a bit under 5000. It took so long I sat back and thought, I must be doing this wrong. I looked at the blogs and reports of others and discovered that I was way behind the eight ball.
I pinned content that matched my board name, as well as my own photos without editing, even if they were not so crash hot. I found people started to follow, then quickly unfollowed me. I had been following lots of people as well as individual boards within topics that I was interested in but only a handful stayed as followers.
I took a deep breath and looked back and decided I was probably just looking like another bot account and people were just using me to try and make their numbers look better. I would follow back and they would unfollow.
Time to think
I decided to have a good think about my account and start to plan for my business success, long-term. I needed to start to treat my profile as a business and spend some time and effort getting it up to scratch.
In my previous post, I asked people why they used Pinterest. I tried to use this information so that as a marketer, I could start to think like a consumer.
What is Pinterest and why do people pin? Check out this post.
Firstly, I needed to work out what I was doing wrong.
When I first joined Pinterest, I set up an account and made a whole pile of boards and just repined from the feed and from the search section. I did not check the content or the links. I added some of my own photos as well.
Using search, I entered a topic and followed lots of boards. I also followed pinners listed under these topics.
Some of these people followed me back and others found me, probably the same way. I believe that I was attracting followers, not fans. Fans are people who look at your pins, read your content and repin, not just play the numbers game. I was guilty of this. I just found people to follow to make up numbers.
I was pinning haphazardly, and inconsistently. As I did not spend a lot of time engaging on the platform, Pinterest did not reward me by posting my content.
Time for more research.
I started researching again and tried to put together a plan of action that would improve my profile and hopefully improve my fan following. I wrote this to help others gain some insight into setting up an account and the actions they are taking.
I was treating Pinterest as a Social Media profile rather than a search engine. I had no SEO in my name, boards or descriptions so Pinterest did not give my pins any priority.
Yes, my posts were shown to some of my followers in their home feed but I understand now that most Pinterest users don’t just look at their feed. They look at their feed and they also use Pinterest to search, just as they would Google.
My content was not ranking in searches, so I missed a lot of potential new followers as they simply could not find me.
Likewise, if my pins were not found then they were not saved (or repined). Having your pins saved by others helps you be seen across the platform as it gives you backlinks to others’ profiles and makes you appear to be providing value. Pinterest likes this and promotes your pins in more feeds and searches.
Most importantly, of those posts which were my own, I was not getting any clicks at all. My analytics was telling me this.
If people do not click through and read your content or check out the product you are promoting through your website or affiliate link, then they cannot purchase from you. As someone who wishes to make money online, this is a critical point.
What is my goal?
I considered the goal of my Pinterest profile and what I hope to achieve in the future.
As part of my overall Social Media strategy, I wrote a page on my blog describing my Pinterest profile and what I hoped to achieve. I added the name of this page on my Pinterest profile bio. As I was unable to add a link, I just hope that anyone considering my profile will copy it and paste into google.
I looked at whether or not I was just going to pin a ton of photos and try and achieve a large following just to look good. This could show a great following to potential companies to attempt to get them to consider me as an affiliate.
The other option and the one I chose was to work at both click-throughs to my website and followers.
I decided that it was better to attract interested people who liked me and my content, yet also like products that I could sell through affiliate marketing. This included items such as shoes & clothing although my blog is not related to fashion.
I do want to make a living on the internet so I need to start building myself up as a person of influence. I need a customer base whom I could later promote products to. I will try and build an email list through my blog and future advertising.
I also wanted to try and attract people to my blog, which should interest them and help them in some small way. I could later monetize my blog by sharing information about products I use and like.
This means I do need a following, numbers that make me look important, but I also need a good group of fans. (Followers who like me and are interested).
Think like a business
Like any business, if you want to build a big customer base (following) you need to put in the hard yards. 10 minutes a day may be OK occasionally to tick things along, but regular dedication will make your business grow so much faster.
I believe that if you want to build your business through Pinterest, you need to start acting like a business. You need to spend time doing work, time researching product ideas and implementing strategies.
I do believe that you need to look professional profile. I also believe that you need to be consistent and take action.
My first strategy was to build my crappy profile into an awesome one that I can be proud of. It does not need to be ultra-professional with professional photos on every board.
However, I do believe that the boards need to have good quality content and not lead to junk sites. I will share what I have done with you in my next blog post.
- I need to start afresh and set up a professional looking profile.
- I need to consider the best ways to pin.
- I need to look my own content and work out what I can offer and the best way to present it.
- I need to consider keywords and SEO moving forward
- I need a strategy so that I can always add content, repin old content and attract more viewers to that content. A business plan if you like.
My next post will be about the action I have taken to improve the look of my profile to work towards step one above.
I have made a start, but as it is very time-consuming I still have a long way to go. I have also added some keywords in order to build my SEO and again, this is a work in progress.
I need to ensure that I don’t just revise. I need to continue to add new content so that I don’t fall off the radar and go back to square one.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below or share with social media. It always helps to have someone else’s opinion.