7 Pinterest Myths: Busted
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Ever wondered the truth about some of your most pressing Pinterest questions? Ever heard something about Pinterest that you think is true, only to hear from another person that it’s not? *raisies hand* Well girl, you’re not alone.
Pinterest is quickly becoming one of the most sought after marketing platforms for businesses, and with that, comes endless made up stories of what people think Pinterest is about. And I’m over it.
That’s why just for you, I’ve decided to put the biggest Pinterest myths to rest. I’ve done my research, compiled my notes, and put together this list of the top 7 Pinterest myths: Busted. I’m taking on the most common Pinterest fables around, and letting you in on a secret: the truth.
The Myth: Impressions are the most important metric
1. What this metric measures is the amount of people that have “viewed” your pins on Pinterest. This means EVERY. SINGLE. PIN. that you’ve shared on your profile, not just pins that are YOUR content.
That means that this number is largely inflated by the type of content you pin on Pinterest. If you’re pinning popular topics, your viewer count is likely to be sky high because you’re pinning what’s already popular. If you’re pinning not so popular topics, your count is likely to be lower as you’re pinning less mainstream content that isn’t really being searched for.
So already, this number has lost some of its importance because it’s partly based on the popularity of the content you’re currently pinning.
2. This metric also measures the reach you have on Pinterest. Meaning if you have 250k monthly viewers, theoretically, the content you’re pinning is reaching 250,000 people. Which is not something to be ignored. HOWEVER, just because you’re reaching 250,000 people, DOES NOT mean that 250,000 people are looking at YOUR blog posts or are even clicking through to YOUR website.
Kind of makes it seem a little less interesting doesn’t it?
Now, it IS important to see growth and how far your reach is. If this number stayed at 0, that’s not good because it means your pins aren’t getting seen at all. And this number SHOULD grow the longer you’re on Pinterest, along with your traffic.
But at the end of the day, this metric is a vanity stat. It tells you how many people are seeing what you pin, NOT the people that are clicking to YOUR website or ENGAGING with your pins.
So, if monthly viewers doesn’t matter that much, then what does?
A click thru is when a pinner literally clicks on one of your pins, and it redirects them to your website. Click thrus tell you how many people are being pulled from Pinterest to your site.
Why is this the most important focus?
Because the point of your business (after chasing your dreams, doing something you love, and making your own schedule) is to make money from it. And one (big) way to do that, is to have droves of traffic coming to your site. Sure, you can brag about having 3 million monthly viewers all day long. But if only 3 people are clicking thru to your website, then that is what I call a loss my friend.
It is SO MUCH BETTER for you to have a lower amount of monthly viewers and a high click thru rate, instead of the other way around. We WANT your ideal client coming back to your site over and over again by clicking thru. We DON’T want 3 million people to see your content, but have no conversion.
The Bottom Line:
Monthly viewers / impressions is a vanity metric and not something to put all of your focus on.
Click-thru is a much more important metric for gauging Pinterest success.
2. The Myth - Pinterest is a social media platform
I cannot stress this enough: Pinterest is NOT a social media platform. Don’t get me wrong here, there are aspects of Pinterest that are social. But the platform overall is not a social media channel.
Pinterest is a visual search engine. If Google and Instagram had a baby, it would be named Pinterest. Pinterest, like Google, is a search engine and wants to give it’s users the best possible content for what they’re searching for on the platform. Pinterest, like Instagram, gives search results in the form of images. Put the two together and you have: Pinterest, a visual search engine. Not social media (one more time for the people in the back)
Like I said in the beginning, there are social aspects of Pinterest. Repinning other people’s content, the ability to comment on pins, and the ability to follow other pinners does add an element of sociality. BUT, the most important thing to remember about Pinterest is that it is first and foremost a search engine. Understanding this is key. Understanding this will affect the way you use Pinterest, as well as how you create a strategy for your Pinterest marketing plan.
The Bottom Line:
Pinterest is not a social media platform.
Pinterest IS a visual search engine.
3. The Myth - Manual pinning is better than scheduled pinning
Manual pinning and scheduled pinning are no different in terms of how they work on Pinterest. Some bloggers will tell you that they get better traffic when they pin manually. Some will tell you that they get more engagement when they use a scheduler. Every business is unique, and I wouldn’t ever attempt to group all businesses into one category. But what I can tell you is that as far as Pinterest is concerned, there is no priority given to those who pin manually.
There is also no priority given to those using a scheduler either. As long as you’re using a scheduler that’s an API approved partner with Pinterest (like Tailwind or Buffer), you’re good to go.
Pinterest sees pins being pinned the same, whether you’re doing it one at a time, or through a scheduler doing it for you. The only thing a scheduler does is save you a heck ton of time (and if you’re using Tailwind, show you even more goodies like analytics!)
So don’t stress about this. Pinterest isn’t.
The Bottom Line:
Manual pinning has no advantage over scheduled pinning.
But if you find that manual pinning gives you better results (and you have a ton of extra time) then go for it.
4. The Myth: Pinterest is only for bloggers
Pinterest works for all kinds of businesses. Having a blog certainly helps, especially in today’s online-focused world. But don’t let the lack of a blog keep you from using Pinterest in your marketing strategy.
What you should be looking at instead, is the amount of content you have.
Do you sell online services?
Have you been featured on some podcast episodes?
Have you written a guest blog post?
Do you have a portfolio of design pieces?
Do you create downloadable lists?
Do you have an online course?
Do you sell digital products?
Do you offer freebies or online checksheets?
You can use Pinterest!
I’ve helped brand designers create pins of their original moodboards, branding boards, and logos. I’ve helped web designers create pins of their website creations, landing page examples, and font combinations used. I’ve seen entrepreneurs create pins for their signature courses and digital download products. There are so many ways to create pins for YOUR business, you just have to get creative.
Brands from Nike to Carnival Cruise Lines have used Pinterest to skyrocket their sales. So get on board girl, Pinterest is where it’s at!
The Bottom Line:
You don’t have to have a blog to have a presence on Pinterest.
If you sell physical products, online services, courses, or digital products, you can make Pinterest work for you.
5. The Myth - I‘ll just pin when I feel like it, it’ll be fine
Don’t think for one second that occasionally pinning when the mood hits you, is going to bring droves of traffic and leads to your site.
One of the most important things to remember about Pinterest: consistency is KING. Pinterest values consistency over almost anything else, and many times, consistency will even outperform your content.
Pinning consistently on Pinterest shows them that you are active on the platform, and that you’re invested in it. When Pinterest sees that consistency from your account, it will rank you higher and higher in their algorithm. The more consistently you show up, the better it is for you, and your audience. No one wants a brand that shows up once every couple weeks when they feel like it. Consumers and potential clients have to trust you before they will buy from you. And to build that trust, you have to show up. Every single day.
Now what exactly does being consistent mean?
It means pinning every day. My advice is to start pinning a minimum of 10 times per day and gauge it from there, but I wouldn’t go below 10. I’ve found the sweet spot for most of my clients is somewhere between 15-25 pins per day. Experiment with it and see what works best for you!
The Bottom Line:
Pinning whenever you feel like it will not bring you results.
Pinning consistently WILL bring you massive results.
Pinterest values it’s users, and values providing those users with accurate and valuable information when they search for it.
6. The Myth - I don’t need to pin other people’s content
Yes you do. You really do.
Pinterest has said over and over again that they are looking for quality content creators and quality content curators. They want accounts that both create good content, as well as share good content. The more good content you share, whether it’s yours or others, the higher your ranking will be with Pinterest, and the farther your reach.
With that being said, we should focus on creating fresh and quality pins, and sharing good quality pins. We want to curate a space on our profile that attracts the right people, and allows them to engage with the content we’ve gathered. The more people that see and interact with the content you share, the more likely they are to ALSO see and share YOUR content.
It ends up being a happy little ecosystem of creating, curating, and sharing, benefiting everyone involved.
“But Kirsten, how much of other people’s content should I share?”
Here’s what I suggest: Start off pinning 80% of other people’s content and 20% of your own content. From there, it depends on how much content you have to work with. For instance, if you have 50 blog posts, then I would go 50/50 with your posts and other people’s content. If you only have 10 blog posts, maybe go with 70% other people’s content and 30% yours.
It’s all about experimentation! Don’t be afraid to switch it up and try new techniques.
The Bottom Line:
You need to pin other people’s content. It’s okay for the ratio to change, but at the end of the day, we want to curate good content as much as we want to create good content.
7. The Myth: Don’t share your competitors pins
It’s up to you on this one. But if my advice counts for anything (I’m assuming it does if you’ve read this far), I’m telling you that you SHOULD pin competitors pins. Why?
In Myth #6 we discussed that curating a good quality profile is one of the top priorities on Pinterest. And that means sharing other people’s content, including your competitors.
Because remember, your Pinterest profile is NOT FOR YOU. It is for your ideal client. And your ideal client more than likely needs to see what your competitors are creating. The point is to help your ideal client find what THEY need. If they’re drawn to a competitor’s business more than yours, then they’re not your ideal client.
Now, with that being said, you can and should go about pinning competitors content carefully. Here’s the general guidelines that I suggest:
DO pin similar content from your competitors. DO NOT pin things in direct competition with your content (example: If you sell an e-book on website branding, don’t pin someone else’s e-book on website branding)
DO pin from a variety of competitors. DO NOT pin 90% from one competitor; then you’ll just be sending them free traffic
Again, at the end of the day, it’s your choice on this one. My Pinterest advice is to pin your competitors pins strategically. It helps everyone out, builds #CommunityOverCompetition, and here’s a bonus: can even help you narrow down your ideal audience. When someone comes to your profile, sees competitors pins, and STILL decides to click thru YOUR pins to your website, you’ve got a solid and invested customer my friend.
The Bottom Line:
It’s up to you. I recommend sharing competitors pins, but do it strategically and with reason.
Now what are you supposed to do with this knowledge? You kick butt with this knowledge! Take what you’ve learned here and keep it in the back of your head for whenever you hear the beginnings of a common Pinterest myth coming about. You now know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!