Hey all! Remember this post about a few quick Twitter tips? We'll today I want to offer you some valuable and super simple rules of thumb that you can use to boost your Pinterest game! You may already be using this fabulous social search engine to find your next tasty meal or maybe you've been dreaming about that super cute DIY lip balm which you'll never actually end up making [insert standard Pinterest joke here]...
Ahhhhh, I could go on and on.....
But I won't — wink!
Hashtags on Pinterest
Don't get me wrong, I love a good hashtag just as much as the next person (read about how we recommend using them on Instagram here) but these babes don't hold up very well on Pinterest. For one, hashtags are only clickable and searchable in pin descriptions. They do not bring any extra eyes or help other's find you if you add them to your board titles, profile names, bio, etc. And two, even when they are clickable + searchable from your pin descriptions they don't work exactly how they would on Instagram or Twitter. Often times, when you click on a certain hashtag like #coffee for instance, you'll see some coffee pins and completely random pins come up.
I even checked in the comments and the URL (thanks to Cynthia Sanchez' tip — LOVE her!) to see if the word "coffee" was ever used and no luck! I still have no clue why this pin showed up, but you can see that hashtags aren't always the best for search optimization. I've also read somewhere that like Facebook, Pinterest actually discourages the use of hashtags and denotes your pin's searchability when you use more then one. If you're going to use them, it's best to use a unique hashtag (like a branded hashtag). This is a great way to own your brand across networks, categorize your content more effectively, and help with your searchability.
Extra Tip: if you really want to make your pins work for you, don't rely on hashtags. Use helpful pin descriptions that provide value and offer your reader insight into what that pin entails.
Continuing on with that same focus on providing value to your audience you want to make sure that you're ALWAYS keeping your audience in mind when your pinning. The same holds true on all social networks but specifically, Pinterest is all about the pinner. Keep in mind that your followers are turning to Pinterest for one (if not all) of these four things...
- To answer a question
- Have a problem solved
- Find inspiration
- Discover something they didn't even know they had a need for
Make sure when you're forming your Pinterest strategy that you are considering your audience demographic and persona. Spend some time answering the following questions so you can have a better understanding of who they are and what they might like to see...
Who are they? 20-somethings, 30s, 40s, housewives, 9-5ers? What's their profession? What do they like to do in their spare time? What's their income level?
Where are they? Are they local, nationwide, international?
What are they interested in? Do they like coffee, fitness, organization tips?
How do they communicate? To each other, to you, and with other brands.
Now that we've given our audience some love, it's time to focus in on our selves and how our followers can find us. Unless you just so happen to be as well known as Nordstrom, you're going to have to be a bit more specific with your business name on Pinterest. Check back to our tip we shared about Instagram account and display names. For this, we'll use the same example to demonstrate...
If you are a photographer and you want other people to potentially see your account when searching for “photography”, you would need to include that keyword in your business name (the name that appears in bold black on the top of your Pinterest page) and/or in your username (the name that goes after "www.pinterest.com/")
Your username and account name can be different! You can include brackets, parenthesis, dashes, etc. to further describe your name. For search purposes, you could have Sally Somebody [Wedding Photographer] if you like. This could ensure that when your audience stumbles on your profile they know not only who you are but also what you do.
I love here how Holly includes her full name and her website name in her "Business Name". This no doubt allows for her audience to easily find her not matter if they search "A Branch of Holly" or "Holly Sutton".