Jessica Lea Dunn is an industrial designer and photographer who also happens to be a superstar Pinterest influencer, with close to 2 million followers on Pinterest.
As a Pinterest influencer, Jess has worked with internationally renowned brands such as Disney and Hasbro, and recently was flown to Milan Design Week with the Lexus Design Award. Her audience loves awesome products, design and DIY ideas.
If you are an individual, business or brand looking to grow on Pinterest, we caught up with Jess to bring you this inspiring influencer story packed with useful Pinterest tips.
Jess shares her top 5 tips for Pinterest success with us here at Influencer Collective.
TIP #1. Don’t pin all your own content
So many brands don’t ‘get’ Pinterest, and fill up their page and boards with just their own content. Not only is this extremely boring for potential followers, it’s also not what Pinterest was originally designed for. Pinterest has always been a place for gathering delicious visuals and the best ideas on a certain theme, and having a place to keep them all together in the one place – on a Pinterest board.
It’s helpful to think of your Pinterest account as the “lifestyle magazine of your brand”, as opposed to a “product catalogue”.
If you were a mattress company, your “lifestyle magazine” might feature articles about how to get a good night sleep, pictures of dream bedroom interiors and beds, beautiful bedroom linen styling, pajama fashion, boudoir lingerie, great hotels to stay at, easy beauty tips for that “I woke up like this” look, DIY bed frame and day bed tutorials, innovative fold-up bed concepts, tips for great sex in bed (if you dare), and so on.
As an example, mattress company would pin anything remotely related to what their potential customer might be thinking about when they are in the market for a new mattress, and visuals around how they would ideally feel after they purchased your mattress.
Pin your inspiration images from influential blogs, fashion & style online magazines, Tumblr sites, Instagram, and companies that relate to your niche and style but don’t directly compete with you (for example, an Egyptian cotton bed linen company, or online pajama or lingerie company, would be perfectly complimentary to your mattress company, and you might share a similar ideal customer).
A good rule of thumb is to stick to the 80/20 rule. That is, for every 2 pins you share of your own product or content, make sure you are pinning at least 8 pins from other sources.
Anything more than that ratio can come across as spam, and inauthentic. As an example, I usually only pin 2 pins a day from my own blog, so my Pinterest audience doesn’t get bored of seeing only my content. But, everything else I pin is related to the overall look, feel, style and theme of my personal brand.
TIP #2. Show up every day
Consistency is one of the keys to success on Pinterest. Before I built such a huge following, I was already pinning inspiration daily from sources around the web, including blogs, product tech news sites, and retail sites. When I suddenly realised I was reaching an audience of nearly 2 million, I knew that I had even more responsibility to provide fresh content and daily inspiration, so I was pinning to Pinterest every single day, and on many days, popping in almost every waking hour with something new.
Back in the early days of Pinterest, organic reach was at 100% so that everything that you pinned would go straight out to your audience, so being consistently present meant being consistently seen.
Now that Pinterest has grown exponentially, this is no longer the case, and Pinterest now has a “smart feed” where their computer algorithm chooses which of your pins to show your audience. So now, being on Pinterest every hour would not be a great idea, because you have so much more to do with your life, and not every pin is guaranteed to get equal visibility or attention.
However, consistently pinning content daily will still give you a huge advantage on Pinterest, because you want to ensure that the Pinterest “smart feed” will choose at least some of your pins to place in front of your audience, so that they are reminded of you, and think of you first when they are in the market to consume something that you are offering.
So how do you show up every day, and a few times every day, even on weekends, when you also have a life outside of social media? The best way is to use scheduling tools to batch upload your content and then drip feed it out! I can recommend three different pin scheduling tools – and I actually use all three depending on what kind of content I’m pinning or what kind of Pinterest marketing campaign I’m working on.
The top three pin schedulers to try out are:
They each have different feature sets. My top advice for most Pinterest users is to try out all three for free, before deciding on the one you like the most, and that works best for your pin scheduling needs.
The best thing about scheduling pins is that you can find and batch all your wonderful content in the space of a few hours, and then the scheduler is able to share those pins on your behalf throughout the coming week or so. It’s great for your audience because they don’t get flooded with pins when you are on an inspiration rampage, and then hear nothing at all from you for days or weeks – they instead get daily inspiration from you that is consistent, curated, and considerate.
I usually make sure I have 10-30 pins going out across my main boards on any given day. (That’s in total, not for each board.) Not too little, not too many. Just right.
TIP #3. Pinterest is a visual search engine
When you think about Pinterest, forget everything you think you already know about social networks, because the truth is that Pinterest is more of a visual search engine than a social network like Facebook or Instagram.
The best collection of images and ideas on the internet can now be found just by searching on Pinterest. However, we all know that computers can’t yet see pictures the way that humans can see pictures. So, if you are posting on Pinterest, you want to caption your image well and describe your product or article in a way that best details exactly what is in that image. Even better, try to understand what search terms your audience is actually searching for, and make sure to include this phrase in the caption.
However, be careful with hashtags. Only use one or two at the maximum, and only if absolutely necessary, for example to label a specific campaign. On Pinterest, hashtags don’t really function the way that they do on Twitter or Instagram for search and discovery, and can appear amateur and spammy when used in excess. You are better off to use natural language to describe your images.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Pinterest is all about vertical images, so if you are used to creating square content for Instagram or horizontal content for Facebook, you’ll need to style and photograph images that are specific to Pinterest, or crop and edit your existing images to be taller.
A good image ratio to keep in mind for Pinterest is between 2:3 and absolutely no taller than 2:5 or it will get cropped off the bottom.
And, since Pinterest is all about visual inspiration that people come to “pin” or save for later, make sure to only pin or repin high quality visually pleasing images, and try to avoid pinning anything that is poorly lit, badly formatted, or of general inferior quality.
TIP #4. Don’t focus on building follower numbers
This might sound strange coming from someone with 1.9 million followers plus, but the days of the citizen influencer amassing behemoth amounts of followers on Pinterest is over, unless you are a massive global brand with a huge existing fan-base to import, a media company, or an already well-known celebrity.
Pinterest was built on the image collections of a few suggested users with a keen eye for curatorial ability, who were plucked out of anonymity into social-media stardom, and I was one of those lucky few back in 2012.
After watching the platform grow and change over the space of almost five years, I can tell you that now, in 2017, the best way to make Pinterest work for you is to focus on getting your content in front of a variety of audiences, not just growing your own. The way to do that is by:
1. Tailoring your content and writing SEO-rich captions to get found in Pinterest search,
2. Working with influencers to place native advertising through influencer marketing, and
3. Paying Pinterest for promoted pins.
TIP #5. Work with Influencers
Working with Influencers to create custom content for influencer marketing, is a great way to make your brand stand out on Pinterest. A good influencer will know what their own audience loves and be able to tailor brand content to appeal to them.
Additionally, anyone who is spending a large amount of time pinning for large audiences on Pinterest are naturally experts in current trends and ideas, because they are on the pulse of what is going viral in the land of DIY, food, fashion and design. They have the ability to boost excitement over existing trends by adding content fuel to the fire, and even create brand new trends by being among the first to spot new ideas and share them.
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