I have a brand new Pinterest Account. It’s just over a month old. Pinterest wasn’t on my radar when I first launched Simply Hatch. I was thinking about all the usual suspects where my customers might hang out, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Completely forgot about Pinterest for growing web traffic. Which is surprising really.
I’ve always underestimated Pinterest. With my last business, I’d put together a few boards and tried to remember to Pin regularly. It never quite happened. But our wonderful customers would do the work for me, pinning and repinning the clothing they loved from the Rich Pins on my outdoor clothing website. It helped that we were selling just to women.
My last business never had a lot of Pinterest followers, but the organic traffic from Pinterest was huge. All it took was a little Save It Button on every website image. So yes, it was surprising that I’d forgotten about the Power of Pinterest.
For The First 3 Weeks On Pinterest, I Had Less Than 30 Followers
I got really excited about Pinterest when I read an article by Debbie O’Connor, on Mum’s The Boss, about how she’d rapidly grown her website traffic using Tailwind. Debbie comes across as the Cat who’s got the Cream, totally amazed by the success of her Pinning strategy.
Debbie grew from a starting point of 1,300 followers, 1,405 monthly unique viewers and 32 monthly engaged viewers with just a few clicking through to her site. A month later, at the end of April 2018, she was up to 5,704 monthly unique viewers, 104 engaged viewers and a total of 13 that had visited Mums the Boss, her highest month ever for Pinterest viewers.
Not bad but that didn’t get me excited. It was the second month of her trial…1,447 followers, 254,000 monthly unique viewers, 6,389 engaged viewers and a total of 435 that had visited Mums the Boss from Pinterest during the month. Really interesting and 6 months later, Pinterest was driving over 8000 visitors to the Mum’s the Boss website.
Who doesn’t want an extra 8000 visitors to their blog every month? I had to try this out for myself. I set up my Boards and signed up for Tailwind on 15 October. I had 7 followers, 640 viewers, and 17 engaged viewers. In other words, I was at rock bottom.
I Started Following People And My Followers Sky Rocketed
For the first three weeks, pretty much nothing happened. That’s an exaggeration but it wasn’t making me jump up and down. By 5th Nov I’d climbed to a lousy 30 followers but I had picked up 38,710 monthly unique viewers and 1,019 engaged viewers along the way. I just couldn’t understand why I had so few followers. Visits to my website from Pinterest were 66 in 3 weeks so that was a big plus.
I came across some advice from Lia Garcia on Slaying Social. Lia advocates that you:
- Find other people in your niche.
- Go on mass following sprees.
- But stop following people when you get to 1000 followers.
It worked! Oh, boy, did it work. (Take a look for yourself and give me a quick follow while you’re there). I started my mass following on 8th November and by the 14th November, 6 Days later, my followers had skyrocketed to well over 1000. I engaged Lia’s third rule at this point and stopped following.
Why I Won’t Keep Doing This Just To Boost My Pinterest Followers
Lia’s logic is that you want to find people who will engage with your content. You don’t just want to follow everyone. If you find people who follow the star players in your niche, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in your Pins too. This stuff works.
We’re talking Pinterest, not Instagram or Twitter where everyone keeps a close eye on balancing following/follower numbers. No-one cares less on Pinterest. Plus as far as I can tell, if you’re signed up for a free business account, no-one can even see how many people you’ve followed.
I’ve now stopped following people and it’s early days since I stopped, but my numbers are still going up. I suspect there’s a balance between carrying on mass following and maintaining good follower engagement. It’s the engagement Pinterest cares about and I don’t want to mess this up.
That said my engagement growth has been equally rapid over the week. I’m now at 42,900 monthly unique viewers and 2,300 monthly engaged viewers. That’s meant 65 visits to my website in a week plus 52 extra Repins. I’m getting very excited for next month’s figures.
As my 18-year-old son would say, I’m buzzing…
UPDATE: Three months later and I have 450K monthly unique views and 2100 followers. In hindsight I’m nervous about the follow/unfollow strategy. Pinterest considers it to be spammy behaviour and can penalise your account.
Apart from a couple of brief and very limited spurts I stopped the follow/unfollow at 1000 followers. I notice that Debbie now has an incredible 3.7 million monthly unique views and her following tactics certainly haven’t affected her engagement.
I guess you need to make up your own mind. I think it’s okay to have a following strategy when you’re starting out otherwise no-one will ever find you. Just make sure you quit whilst your ahead…