I recently did some polling to find out what your biggest struggles were on Pinterest. The overwhelming response was the day-to-day management of a Pinterest account. How often do I pin? Can I repin the same pin to the same board more than once? What time of day or day of the week is best to pin?
Are you sensing a theme here? It seems that the one thing so many of you are struggling with is creating your pinning schedule. And rightfully so! There are so many theories floating around and there truly isn’t a one size fits all solution. What can help, are the facts that Pinterest has provided to us, combined with a little knowledge of how the platform works. So today, let’s dive into how you can start creating your pinning schedule and start understanding how the methods you choose affect your success on Pinterest.
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Creating Your Pinning Schedule: Pinterest Marketing Demystified
Pinterest recently did a Facebook Live interview with Tailwind where they answered a ton of questions and provided some seriously helpful intel. This new information and clarification helped to answer some of the questions we will cover in this post. If you want to watch the entire video, I’ll post a link at the end of the post for you! It’s a long one, but it contains incredibly valuable information.
Okay, let’s jump in!
How many times a day should I pin?
Ah, the great debate. There are entirely too many ideas on how many times a day is the “magic number” for pinning. Here’s the truth. There isn’t one. That being said, there are a few things to consider when deciding how often YOU should pin for YOUR business.
Pinterest has stated that there isn’t necessarily a number if pins that they prefer. However, the more you pin, the more chances you have of being seen. Now this doesn’t mean that pinning 100 times a day is the way to go. It works for some, but it’s not just about the number of pins. It’s about quality and consistency as well.
Consistency is key
In their recent interview, Pinterest stated that they value consistency over quantity when it comes to distribution. In other words, if you have 70 pins to share for the week, you’re better off pinning 10 pins a day over the course of 7 days than you are 70 pins all at once. This does a few things. First, it shows Pinterest that you are active on the platform regularly. Secondly, it spreads out your content making it more likely to be shown in the multiple feeds available on Pinterest (home feed, search feed, following feed, etc.)
Personally, I pin about 30 times a day. If I didn’t have time to pin this much, I would lower it, but using a scheduler makes this quick. I find that this number allows me to sufficiently share a great deal of my content as well as repins without spamming boards.
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What is the correct ratio of my content vs. repins?
Another hot-button issue is how many of your own pins you should share vs. how many repins you should share. A lot of the confusion with this comes from the popular 80/20 rule for social media. Many social media marketers maintain that you should share only 20% of your own content and 80% of others’. While this may be effective on other social media platforms, Pinterest operates differently and should be treated accordingly.
Pinterest outright tells Pinterest business users that they should prioritize their own content. Ideally, repinning others’ content should be used as a way to fill in the gaps. If you want to pin 30 times a day, but you only have 10 of your own pins, they the other 20 could be curated content. However, if you have a ton of your own content to share, you could technically get away with zero repins and it wouldn’t hurt your account from a Pinterest perspective.
That being said, Pinterest isn’t the only factor. You need to consider your audience! If they are sick of only seeing your content on your profile, they may choose to unfollow you. Whatever ratio you choose, make sure you are providing a variety of helpful, inspirational and relevant content for your audience to consume.
I like to follow the theory of “give and you shall receive” when it comes to curated content. While I do have a great deal of my content to share, I feel that it is important to share the work of others. This builds relationships with others in your industry or niche and they may begin to share your content as well. Not to mention, if they are creating content that is valuable to your readers or customers, why wouldn’t you want to share it with them?
My recommendation is to start your day by pinning your own content and, when you’ve pinned all that you have to offer, start repinning or pinning from websites that are relevant to your audience. This brings us right into the next common question…
What time of day, or day of the week should I pin?
Pinterest recently announced a wonderful little nugget of wisdom on this topic. With the recent update, the platform is now prioritizing your first 5 pins of the day for distribution. But when does the “day” start? Pinterest operates on UTC time. Since I live on the east coast, I looked up the conversion and midnight UTC time is 8:00PM EST. That means that when I say “start your day by pinning your own content” I mean start at midnight UTC time.
In regard to specific times or days of the week for pinning overall, Pinterest does not favor any particular times or days over another; however, if you notice that your audience tends to be engaging with your content on certain days or at specific times, it would be wise to take this into account when planning your schedule. Those who use Tailwind can simply follow the suggested schedule times provided, as Tailwind has already done this step for you.
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What if I don’t have enough content to pin as often as I need to?
There is a lot of confusion surrounding this particular question. Many people have come to me asking about it and, when answered, they feel a weight has been lifted from their shoulders.
Here’s what seems to be the biggest eye-opener for new Pinterest business users: You can pin your content more than once.
If you’re aiming to pin 10 times a day, that doesn’t mean you need to write 10 blog posts a day! When you write a blog post, or create a new product or service that you want to promote, you can pin it to multiple boards. This is where having many boards relevant to your industry or niche comes in handy. When creating your boards, keep your content in mind. Your content should be able to easily fit into the subject matter of multiple boards on your profile. Additionally, this is where joining group boards can be helpful. Group boards provide another place to share your content with a new audience.
Keep in mind, you can always create multiple pins for the same content. I recommend creating at least 3 pinnable images per blog post/product/service.
Let’s say you wrote a new blog post and you have created 3 pinnable images for it. If you have 10 boards (which is the minimum I recommend starting with) and the content is relevant to all of them, that’s 30 potential pins right there. Now, I don’t recommend making this all happen in one day, as you will be sharing only one piece of content all day long. Instead you should spread it out. For example, let’s say you pin one of each pinnable image for this content each day. This would set you up to have 3 pins a day for 10 days, all from just one piece of content. If you add in pins from other content and repins, you will be up to 10 pins a day or more in no time.
Can I pin duplicate pins to the same board?
Yes! But there are a few conditions to keep in mind…
First, you want to consider your followers and anyone who may view your boards. Think about how this would appear. If you pin the same content to the same board over and over without much separation, the board is going to look spammy.
Instead, try posting duplicate content to a board after enough time has passed and enough other pins have been added to the board in between to space things out. The exact time between each duplicate pin will depend on how active the particular board is. The best way to check this is to go to a board and scroll a bit to determine about how many pins you would want in between before you saw the same pin. Most pinners aren’t going to scroll down too far on a particular board, but if they don’t even have to scroll to see a duplicate that is definitely a problem.
Change the Description
When you pin a duplicate pin, make sure to mix up the pin description a bit. Use some different keywords or hashtags or change the description to cater to a different segment of your audience. This can help your pin reach new pinners that may not have been given the opportunity to see it on the first go-around.
Additionally, you’ll want to consider the rules of any group boards you are on. Pinterest doesn’t penalize you for duplicate pins, but group board owners may. You may be removed from a group or flagged as spam if you don’t abide by the group rules listed in the description. If they explicitly state in the description that duplicate pins are not allowed, then you will want to steer clear of submitting any duplicate pins on that board. period.
However, even if this is not stated in the rules, you will still want to be mindful of how often you are pinning duplicate pins. If the board is highly active and your pin moves down the feed minutes after being pinned, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem pinning duplicate pins on that board. I would still give it some time, but it isn’t likely that it will raise any red flags with that much activity happening.
On the other hand, if you are a member of a group board that moves relatively slowly, you will definitely want to space things out. It doesn’t take much to clutter up a slow-moving board with your own pins.
Does it matter what boards I pin to?
The boards you pin to actually matter quite a bit!
Pinterest’s most recent best practices update says that you should always make sure that the first time you pin a pin, it should be pinned to the most relevant board. In the past, bloggers and businesses would often pin the first pin to their brand or blog board, and then circulate it through their other boards from there. Now, if you have a board that more closely defines what the pin is about, you will want to pin to that board first. This tells Pinterest more about the pin and ensures that it is more accurately ranked in search. Pinterest did confirm in their recent interview that the keywords in the board description of the first board you pin to will follow the pin as it is distributed across the platform.
Make sure that your board titles and descriptions contain relevant and specific keywords and avoid cutesy symbols or phrases. Keep it simple and straight forward. Of course, as with pin descriptions, you don’t want to keyword stuff your board descriptions. Write up an editorialized description that includes as many keywords as possible without harming the quality of the writing.
Does live pinning help?
This myth was recently busted by Pinterest! I’m happy to share with you that live pinning does appear differently to Pinterest than scheduled pinning. For those of us that use a scheduler, this is a huge relief.
There are plenty of articles out there talking about why live pinning is beneficial. I’m not here to say it hasn’t worked for some, but I can verify that the reason for their success could not have been because Pinterest favored them for pinning directly on the platform. A more likely source of success was the change in their pinning schedule or the type of pins they were pinning. For some people, using a scheduler can cause a disconnect and live pinning is a way to be more engaged with your audience. Of course, live pinning is also free so, in that regard, it may be the best or only option for you.
For the sake of saving time, I always recommend using a scheduler. Regardless, I still login to Pinterest every day. One of the most important things that I do on the platform is to check my notifications and take action on them. I may follow back a new follower who shares content relevant to my niche, or repin from the suggested pins that Pinterest provides. I do feel that there is value in this and it provides an opportunity to see what my audience is up to.
One of my first sources of guidance on Pinterest marketing was Elna Cain of TwinsMommy.com. Her site is packed with Pinterest tips and great resources for bloggers! Elna promotes the idea that you should essentially repin your repins. In other words, when you see a notification that says “x number of your pins were saved”, click on it! If you see that one or more of your pins were saved to boards that are relevant to the content of that pin, repin it to another relevant board. The idea behind this is that it further solidifies what the pin is about in the eyes of Pinterest and is also a way to show some love to the person who shared your content by expanding their reach.
While this method hasn’t been verified by Pinterest (to my knowledge), it aligns with what I do know to be true about the platform. The more than Pinterest knows about your pin content, the better. Not to mention, it’s another opportunity to share your content again! When I have time, I always try to include this in my daily schedule. It only takes a few minutes and I feel that it helps new pins gain traction a little faster.
What should I spend my time on?
Pinterest is time-consuming. That’s why so many people are obsessed with Tailwind (myself included)! But what are the most important things to spend your time on?
While the act of pinning is important, it will only be beneficial if you have done the prep work. First and foremost, you must have beautiful pins! You can learn more about how to create pinnable images here.
Once you have great pins, you need to optimize for SEO. The pin description is the most important factor by far. Descriptions should be well-written, keyword rich, and engaging. Keyword optimization should also be applied to board titles and descriptions, as well as your profile name and bio.
If you are limited on time, focus primarily on creating great content, great pins, optimizing for SEO and consistently pinning. On Pinterest, quality and consistency are more important than quantity. Remember, pins can live on for months, so taking time to focus on each one is worth it. If you can only pin 5 times a day, make those 5 pins great and start adding more when you can. You can learn more about developing a detailed Pinterest Marketing Strategy here.
Want to watch the Tailwind interview with Pinterest? Check it out here
What pinning schedule works best for you and why? Let me know in the comments below!
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Hi, I’m Jessica and I’m a Stay at Home Mompreneur. The success I had with my mom blog through the use of Pinterest led me to a career in Pinterest Management where I help other bloggers, businesses, and entrepreneurs grow their business with Pinterest.