It feels like there are a million and one Pinterest strategies out there! One tells you to do this thing; another tells you that doesn’t work at all, you should do completely the opposite.
It’s enough to make your head spin.
The thing is, different pinning methods work better for different people and goals. There isn’t one ‘best’ method, so you need to do some research to see what’s best for you. I’ve tried a few different Pinterest growth strategies lately and here’s what I found:
Comparing Pinterest strategies for better traffic
You need to balance time vs. ROI (return on investment). If you’re putting in more time than the traffic is worth, then YOU SHOULD PROBABLY STOP. After all, if the point of traffic is to increase your reach and thus your income, low-quality traffic isn’t going to do you much good.
The thing is, Pinterest traffic tends to have a high bounce rate (meaning people glance at the article, “Pin for later,” leave the site, then forget to come back), so you have to decide if complicated Pinterest strategies are worth the extra time. You’ve probably seen an infographic like this before, but these are essentially your options:
So let’s dive into a couple of those options in a bit more detail (another will follow soon when it’s out of beta testing!):
1 | Manual Pinning aka Pinteresting Strategies
Pinteresting Strategies is an eBook that I’ve seen talked about in the online business circles a lot lately. It’s $29, so I figured I’d give it a whirl and see if it could help increase my Pinterest traffic.
The truth: My Pinterest CTR increased by ~5x in the month-long experiment I conducted using Pinteresting Strategies. I didn’t have particularly high traffic before that (I hadn’t been focusing on Pinterest traffic much before then), but it was still significant. That’s pretty much what the eBook promises to deliver, so it lived up to my expectations in that aspect!
The problems: Oh my word, Pinteresting Strategies is SO COMPLICATED. Plus, I felt like most of the book was rehashing things I already knew (though that’s partly because I’m a hard-core business strategy researcher) and the parts that WERE new to me felt a bit scattered and not instructive enough for my taste (again, this is personal preference). I wish there had been a printable worksheet or a Google Drive spreadsheet that I could have copied. Instead, I had to essentially come up with my own version of the strategy from scratch.
And that strategy involves a SUPER complicated spreadsheet or similar method. The thing that really got me was this quote from the book, though: “As the number of posts and pins you have to work with grows, and as you get on more group boards, it will become virtually impossible to be sure that you’re not pinning the same pin today, that you pinned to this board just yesterday.” To me, that says this strategy just isn’t sustainable. I mean, it clearly is working for the author, but good golly, I couldn’t imagine dealing with this complicated mess long-term!
The other problem with this is that it means you MUST have access to your spreadsheets and system. If you’re on the go at your usual Pinterest rounds times, you’re up a creek.
Pinteresting Strategies is also time-intensive: I wanted to know the ROI on my efforts, so I tracked my time. I hopped onto Pinterest around 8 pm EST (midnight UTC, Pinterest’s reset time) and started making the rounds of my group boards. I would usually finish up Pinning around 8:30. Because it took half an hour to do one round of Pins (and mind you, I was only Pinning to probably 5-10 group boards per night), I only manually Pinned once a day. It felt like I was underutilizing this Pinterest strategy, but I couldn’t deal with it more than once a day. And if you miss a day, your traffic plummets for several days after that.
Who is Pinteresting Strategies best for?
If you don’t mind complicated systems and can commit to a pinning routine that takes some extra time, then Pinteresting Strategies probably won’t be a problem for you. If you’re more interested in clicks on your Pins than the time it takes to get them, this is also the method I would recommend! However, if you’re strapped for time, you’ll be better served with Manual Pinning Simplified (keep reading for more on that!) or another tool.
2 | Mobile Manual Pinning aka Manual Pinning Simplified
This book is actually a bit of a spin-off from Pinteresting Strategies, ironically. Kyla, the author, created it because she wanted to utilize that method, but she came to the same conclusion I did: she didn’t have the capacity to deal with the complication and she didn’t have the time to dedicate. She was smarter than I am, though, and she found a simpler version (hence the eBook title!). This eBook is also only $29, so it’s a lightweight investment.
Here’s what I like about Manual Pinning Simplified: the whole point of this Pinterest strategy is that it can be done from your mobile phone. I tend to switch back and forth between mobile and desktop based on convenience (aka I do my morning round when I’m still lying in bed because I’m lazy and then I usually do my afternoon and evening rounds from my laptop). That makes it super convenient to stay on top of this – you can even do it on vacation!
Let’s be real, though: anything is going to take more time than a set-it-and-forget-it Pinning method. But HOLY COW – Manual Pinning Simplified takes WAY less time than Pinteresting Strategies! Remember how I said I do my first Pinning round from bed? That’s because it takes me all of maybe five minutes to do it. That’s 15 minutes per day for three rounds AND I’m getting wider coverage, which is more important now that Pinterest is emphasizing followers (hooray!).
Here’s where Manual Pinning Simplified falls a little short for me: while it’s caught up to my results from using Pinteresting Strategies a few times, it hasn’t consistently gotten the x5 CTR that Pinteresting Strategies did. The more consistent I am with it, though, the better my CTR is, so I’m going to keep experimenting and I’ll update you with my results. Actually, I should probably start tracking what times of day I do my Manual Pinning Simplified rounds and which days my CTR spikes. Hmm…
Who is Manual Pinning Simplified best for?
If you’re on the go a lot or don’t want to manage complicated spreadsheets, Manual Pinning Simplified is a great option. If you’re more concerned with a huge increase in traffic instead of slow-and-steady improvements, you may want to look elsewhere (this is based solely on my personal experience, though!).
Side note: What happened to BoardBooster?
In case you didn’t know, BoardBooster was NOT an official Pinterest partner. And remember how I mentioned that Pinterest’s API doesn’t allow automated repins? BoardBooster created automated repins, which goes against the ToS of that Pinterest API. That means they were breaking the rules from Day One and Pinterest was letting them slide for some reason.
A while ago, BoardBooster users noticed that their Pinterest reach was declining. Many didn’t think much of it. But recently, a lot of BoardBooster users started getting suspended on Pinterest. And then in June 2018, BoardBooster announced that they were closing. My guess is that with Pinterest cracking down on their users, they were hemorrhaging users like crazy and couldn’t keep cash flow. Whatever the reason, though, there isn’t currently an automated option (yet!). That said, there is one in the works, coming from an official Pinterest partner, no less! I’ll add my thoughts on that tool once it’s released from the beta test I’m part of and I’m legally allowed to share the information. So stay tuned!
Whatever Pinterest strategy you choose (or if you choose to use a combination), remember that you can tweak it to suit your needs. The Manual Pinning Simplified strategy is a great example of taking a proven Pinterest promotion method and making it your own! Just make sure that your new Pinning strategy suits you, your lifestyle, and your business needs.
Leave a comment with your thoughts on Pinning strategies! Here are some ideas:
What Pinterest promotion strategy do you use for your business?
How could you tweak one of the three Pinning systems I outlined here to meet your needs?
Do you have any Pinterest marketing strategies to share with the class? We’d love to hear!