pinboard and pins

[HOW TO] Win Friends and (Pin)fluence People

pinboard and pins

I’ve been on Pinterest for over 9 months now and must say, I’m hooked.

During this time I’ve picked up a few tips that I’d like to share with you.

Before you proceed however, and if you haven’t already, read my Essential Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest.  It offers a good grounding for the uninitiated.

Since I wrote the guide, Pinterest has added a few new features and functionality that provide curators with better control over the look and feel of their profile and boards. These include:

  1. More prominent profile box. This is now positioned at the top of your profile page. Previously it was on the left hand side.
  2. Featured board picture.  Previously each board was composed of nine equally sized pictures. Now, each board has one large featured picture and 4 thumbnails below it, much more elegant!
  3. Setting and positioning board covers. This allows curators to select and position the best picture for their board cover.  This is especially important in tip #1 below.

The above changes were spot on I think.

I’d still like Pinterest to adopt more changes that give curators better control over the look and feel of their boards.

This is especially important for brands that want to tell their stories. Ben and the Pinterest team, if you’re listening,  allow for the ability to re-arrange pictures inside each board. Please?

As for my tips, here are three that have helped me develop my fairly active profile

Tip # 1: Increasing Number of Followers on Pinterest

The surest way to increase your number of followers is to create “pin”teresting boards with beautiful images (more on this below).  Here are a few tips on this:

  • Choose your categories wisely. The categories I found work include: Cute Animals, Picturesque Locations,  Home Decoration  (e.g Kitchen inspiration) and Vintage Advertising.
  • Choose an appropriate image as a cover.  Browse through your pictures and pick the one that best describes your board.  When you select it, make sure it’s positioned perfectly.  Not all pictures work as covers.
  • Arrange your boards intuitively and artistically.  Group similar boards together.  Pinterest allows you to do that.  Make sure the colours of 2 adjacent boards compliment each other.   Your entire profile should look attractive and easy on the eye.
  • Be an active curator. The more you pin the more followers you get, simple as that.  But don’t spam.  Make sure your pictures are relevant to your audience.  remember, most people follow all your boards so you could start to lose people if you over do it.
  • Re-pin pictures from other curators.  The best way to do this is to use the search functionality provided by Pineterst.  You can search individual pictures or entire boards, do both.

Tip # 2: Encouraging Re-Pins

To improve your re-pinning ratio follow these steps:

  • Choose pictures that are large.  One way of doing so in Google images for instance is to select the “large” filter on the left nav bar. I will rarely re-pin a small picture.
  • Accurately describe your pin.  One of my biggest pet peeves is to find a re-pinnable picture that has no description, most likely because the curator is too lazy or simply not knowledgeable enough to write an interesting description.
  • Do your research. Following from the point above, if you do find a picture without a description that you want to re-pin but don’t know how to describe it, use Google’s new image search functionality to find similar images (with descriptions).  This gives your pins more chance of getting re-pinned.

Tip #3: Driving More Pinterest Traffic to Your Site

Most people on Pinterest don’t like to leave the site unless they really have to.  If you’re a brand or even a blogger or an affiliate, driving traffic to your site should be one of your goals.  Here are  a couple of tips on how to do this…

  • Link your profile to your site. This is the easiest way to ensure that people can find your site.  While you’re at it, also link to your Twitter account and Facebook if you have one.
  • Tell people to visit your site. Add a call to action in your image description and ask people to visit your site for more information.  For example, if you’re an e-tailer, you may not want to add the price but instead say further details on your site.
  • Run competitions. In addition to increasing your following, competitions have the added value of driving more visitors to your site, especially if the results are published there ;).
  • Interact.  Pinterest is a community. Commenting and responding to others is not only good manners, it can also increase the probability of people visiting your site, especially if you ask them to.

In a Nutshell

Increasing the number of followers to your Pinterest profile is not a difficult task.  Know your target audience and provide them with visual inspiration based on their demographics and psychographics.

Basic marketing techniques apply.

Treat Pinterest like the community it is.  Interact, re-pin, like and follow others, you will reap the rewards.

Further Recommended Reading:

Now over to you…

Do you have any more tips?  Share below…

About Omar Kattan
Omar is MD & Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.


  1. […] Are you on Pinterest? You should be! Did you know it's now beating out Twitter, StumbleUpon and Bing in terms of potential referral traffic? Read our CSO's latest Pinterest [How to] Guide and share your own tips…  […]

Contact Us