One of the best (and easiest) ways to increase your brand’s reach and traffic from Pinterest is to get more followers.
The more followers you have, the more people will see your pins and click over to your website.
That may seem obvious to you, but many people consider follower count on social media to be a vanity number. And often, that’s true.
But the thing is, Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social media platform. And yes, followers matter on Pinterest.
In fact, once I grew my business’ account to over 1,000 followers, I noticed a large uptick in traffic from Pinterest to my website.
Of course, other factors played into this, but I’m sure the followers didn’t hurt!
Why are followers so important? Let’s look at the difference between a casual viewer and a follower on Pinterest.
A viewer who sees one of your pins in their smart feed, but doesn’t follow you, may or may not stumble on your other pins in the future.
But a follower will see your pins time and time again, and will begin to recognize and trust your brand.
Your goal should be to convert viewers into followers. And ultimately, to get them to click over to your website. It’s an entry point into your sales funnel and customer journey.
To make that happen, here are 9 proven strategies to get more Pinterest followers.
1. Have a Clear Target Audience
Let’s say someone stumbles on one of your lovely pins and clicks over to your profile.
If they see a hot mess of unrelated boards, and they can’t tell what you do, they’re going to leave and probably never come back.
But if your boards are well-organized and your profile has a clear purpose, they’ll know right away if they want to see more from you. They’ll be tripping over themselves to hit that follow button!
You don’t have to stick to one niche. But you should think about the type of person you’re trying to appeal to, and build your boards based on their interests.
2. Optimize Your Pinterest Account
In order to get found on Pinterest, you have to make it easy for people to search for you. This is where Pinterest SEO comes into play.
Think about what keywords your target audience might be searching for.
These can be short-tail (1-2 words) or long-tail phrases (3-6 words). You can find keywords users are searching for by typing a word into the Pinterest search bar. Pinterest will show you more specific phrases (the colorful blocks) that you can use.
Add those keywords in your name, bio, pin descriptions, and board descriptions.
Sprinkle them in organically, in complete sentences. Pinterest dislikes too much keyword-stuffing.
For more on this, here’s a post on 6 steps to optimize your Pinterest profile.
3. Create Attractive Pinterest Graphics
On Pinterest, images reign supreme. They are the entire basis for Pinterest as a platform. When users are on Pinterest, they expect to find gorgeous and unique images.
Give the people what they want!
How to Create a Perfect Pinterest Pin
Canva is a great free resource for creating Pinterest pins. It’s what I use to make all my pins.
They have built-in templates you can edit to match your branding, and they have tons of graphics and images you can use for free.
Most importantly, your pin should be vertical. Avoid pinning square images! Pinterest prefers images to be longer than they are wide. You can always add a square image onto a longer background.
Your pins should be 600 x 900 pixels. You can also make them longer, but make sure they’re within a 2:3 aspect ratio.
If you don’t want to take your own photos (or don’t have time), there are tons of free stock photo sites online. A few I’ve used are Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay.
Taking Your Own Photos
If you take your own photos, here are some tips on improving your social media & product photography.
This can be better than using stock photos, because other pinners might use the same photos you use. With your own photos, your pin will be more unique.
I’ve seen success with both, so feel free to test out what works best for you!
Also consider overlaying some catchy text onto the image. It adds context and can make your pin more clickable.
Colors and Fonts
In general, you’ll want to stick to consistent, branded templates so your pins and brand become recognizable to your followers.
But I also recommend testing out different colors and font pairs. See what people respond to.
4. Add a Pinterest Follow Button on Your Website
If you have your own website, adding a Pinterest follow button or widget is a great way to ask people who are already interested in your content to follow you on Pinterest.
That way, they can continue to see your content down the road.
Check if your site platform (WordPress, Shopify, Wix, etc.) has a free plugin or app for this. You can also embed a board or your profile directly onto a page.
I use the Feed Them Social plugin for WordPress on my site (you can see it on the sidebar to your right near the top of the page if you’re on desktop, or near the bottom of the page if you’re on mobile).
5. Pin Others’ Content In Addition to Your Own
This will show potential followers that you’re curating the best content, and you’re not just interested in promoting your own content.
Plus, Pinterest rewards pinners who share the love.
Another perk: if you repin others’ pins, they’ll get a notification and may click over to your profile and follow you.
6. Join Relevant Group Boards
Group boards can be huge for getting in front of other people’s audiences. And more exposure means more chances to gain followers and traffic.
They also allow you to re-share your pins without being spammy.
Find group boards in your niche, request to join, and start sharing your pins.
You can search for group boards by typing a keyword into the search bar and selecting ‘boards’. Any board that has multiple contributors will have more than one profile picture in the bottom left hand corner.
You can also look at the group boards your competitors have joined.
Once you click on the board, you should see instructions on how to request to join the board. Sometimes, all you have to do is click a ‘Request to Join’ button. Other times, you may have to send an email or fill out an online form.
7. Schedule Pins & Share to Tribes on Tailwind
Tailwind is extremely powerful for growing your business on Pinterest.
The Tribes feature allows you to share your awesome pins with other pinners in your niche. Tribes are a lot like group boards, but even better, because it’s easy to tell if someone isn’t reciprocating or following the rules.
Plus, I’ve found engagement (re-pins) tends to be higher in Tribes than in group boards.
Tailwind also allows you to schedule your pins at optimal times, so your followers are more likely to see your pins and share them with their own audience. And we’re back to the whole more exposure leads to more followers thing. 🙂
Feel free to check out my ultimate guide to using Tailwind for Pinterest strategically.
8. Follow Other Pinners
Yes, it really does help to seek out and follow pinners in your target audience! They’ll get a notification that you followed them, and they may choose to follow you back.
By following users first, you’re nudging them in the right direction. You’re helping them discover you without waiting for them to come across your profile randomly.
You know you can provide them with value or help them find what they’re looking for, so it’s a win-win situation.
Find users in your ideal audience by looking at group board members in your niche, users who follow other businesses in your niche, and Tailwind tribe members (if you’re a Tailwind user).
9. Use Hashtags in Your Descriptions
Be sure to add a few hashtags to the bottom of your pin descriptions. It’s another avenue for users to come across your fabulous pins and discover your business.
Use hashtags that have a good amount of pins, but aren’t so popular that your pin will get buried in minutes.
Additionally, if a hashtag is too specific, it may not have a lot of users searching for it. Try to strike a balance between popularity and specificity.
And that’s it: the same steps I took to get my first 1,000 followers (and beyond) on Pinterest.
I hope these strategies are just as successful for you as they have been for me!