It’s the age-old question: What’s the absolute best way to drive traffic to your Etsy shop or website?
The answer: Pinterest.
If you’re anything like I was before I started my own online business, you might be thinking: “Isn’t Pinterest just a place to look at Paleo recipes I’ll never end up cooking? Or really awesome Harry Potter fan art?”
Or, you might have been skimming through my Instagram bio, thinking: “What do I need a Pinterest strategy for? This chick is nuts!”. Well, I promise you I’m not nuts, and I do know what I’m talking about. 🙂
Let me explain how Pinterest can be huge for your business.
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Pinterest is the absolute best platform to drive free traffic to your Etsy shop or website.
It’s better than Facebook, better than Twitter, and even better than Instagram for traffic. Not only that, but the work you put into Pinterest works longer and harder for you than any other platform.
For example, a pin has 1600 times the lifespan of a Facebook post. It will stick around and continue to drive traffic to your site. Compare that to a Facebook post, which will basically drop off the face of the Earth after 24 hours.
Facebook links are ugly, long strings of text, compared to Pinterest’s visually-appealing clickable images. On Pinterest, you can easily embed a link on every image you pin to any page you want the user to go. It’s that simple.
Pinterest users are more likely to buy an item than users on any other digital platform.
This means Pinterest is especially powerful if you sell products, whether they are physical or digital. Here’s a shocking statistic for you: 93% of pinners use Pinterest with the intent to make a purchase, whether that be for baby clothes, an art print, or an e-book (of course, that list is not all-inclusive!).
Pinterest also works very well for bloggers. You can repurpose your existing blog content by using different images and alternate titles.
Another great use for Pinterest: growing your email list. Tempt users with a freebie and link to a landing page with your email list signup form.
Some quick stats that will probably surprise you:
- Pinterest has over 200 million monthly active users
- Pinterest is still predominantly used by women, but 1 in 4 users are men
- 97% of searches on Pinterest are unbranded (this is good news for smaller brands!)
- On average, a pin can continue to get engagement for seven months
- It’s the #1 shopping platform for millennials
- Pinterest drives 33% more referral traffic to shopping sites than Facebook
Here’s yet another perk you won’t find on any other digital platform: it doesn’t matter how many followers you have, as long as you’re using the right strategies. If the Pinterest platform sees you as a valuable pinner, it will show your pins to more users even if you don’t have much of a following.
A common misconception about Pinterest is that it’s a social media platform.
Actually, it’s a search engine just like Google. This means that if you research your niche and understand your ideal audience, you can target the best consumers for your brand.
Using the right keywords (especially long-tail keywords) makes it easier for them to find you. I don’t know about you, but I’ve personally tried typing in keywords to search for niches and products on Instagram, and it makes me want to throw my phone across the room.
You’re probably wondering what the catch is.
It does take a good amount of work, especially upfront, to be successful on Pinterest. You won’t get flocks of people dying to look at your products for no reason, of course! (Wouldn’t that be nice, though?)
From research and personal experience, I can tell you that it typically takes about 2-3 months to start seeing consistent momentum on Pinterest (with manual pinning), especially if you’re starting from scratch.
You’ll want to start by following these 6 steps to setting up your Pinterest profile to optimize for getting found & making sales.
Then, start using a Pinterest SEO strategy to boost your viewers and get found when users search for your keywords.
Once that’s done, here are a couple tools I have found extremely successful in boosting impressions, followers, and traffic when used together with manual pinning.
Pinterest Group Boards
Group boards on Pinterest are communities of like-minded pinners (in your case, creative entrepreneurs) who curate quality pins in their niche. You can find group boards by using the search bar (with keywords), or looking at competitors to see which group boards they’ve joined.
Once you click on a group board, read the paragraph at the top. It will explain how you can request to join the board. Typically they’ll ask you to send an email to them with your Pinterest email (you can find that in your profile settings), a link to your Pinterest profile, and maybe a blurb about what you do and/or your website link.
Be sure to include the name of the specific group board in your subject and email body.
What if I don’t have very many Pinterest followers?
Follower count is NOT the most important aspect group board leaders look at when determining whether or not to accept you. They want to see that you create quality pins and use keywords in your descriptions.
Even as a relatively new pinner, you can make a good impression and get accepted to group boards. You just need to focus on keywords, add descriptions (with full sentences) to your pins, and take the time to make beautiful, branded graphics. Hint: use Canva! It’s free and super easy to use.
Tailwind & Tailwind Tribes
If you haven’t heard of Tailwind, it’s a game-changing scheduling app for Pinterest.
It allows you to schedule pins at optimal times so you don’t have to be on the platform when you don’t want to be. Plus, it’s got a feature called Tailwind Tribes, which work like group boards, but are even better for expanding your reach. AND it’s got awesome analytics that you can’t find on Pinterest.
Tailwind is $15/month (or $10/month if you pay annually), but you can get a FREE trial here. Try it out and see if you like it! It’s hands down the best $10/month that I spend on my business.
Check out my ultimate strategy guide on using Tailwind for Pinterest for my best tips & tricks.
And lastly, my most important point:
Always Repin Others’ Content in Addition to Your Own.
For both group boards and Tailwind Tribes, you should always be repinning others’ content as much as (or more!) than you are pinning your own. Both tools are a means of mutual collaboration with others in your niche.
All this might sound overwhelming, but if you take an hour or so to send a few group board requests and join a few Tailwind tribes, you’re well on your way to seeing a big difference in your reach. Then, you’ll have a bunch of already-curated pins from others to repin (which also helps your reach), and you can easily & quickly reshare your own pins to those boards.
Basically, if you put a little work upfront, you can get incredible results and a serious return on investment.
Here’s that link for a free trial to Tailwind again. 🙂
I truly hope this article has given you the information you need to decide if Pinterest is right for your business. If you’re ready to get started, here are 6 steps to optimize your Pinterest profile and 7 steps to harness the power of Pinterest SEO.
And to make things even easier on you, I’ve put all the steps you need to take in a handy dandy checklist you can work through: