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The One Mistake that Will Destroy Your Pinterest Marketing Strategy

Pinterest Marketing Mistake Oh Pinterest, people are falling in love with you as the new social media darling. You’ve now spawned a variety of copy cats, like Manteresting and Dudepins, and brought a whole new paradigm in how people can visualize and experience a website.

As the network gains more followers every day, and more more articles about how to use this social media tool for marketing appear rampant online, it’s also important to examine how to use Pinterest correctly for your business and brand. In order to do this, you need to avoid this common big mistake.

Your Boards Need to Represent Your Brand

The clear majority of pins on Pinterest are pictures of food, fashion or crafts/DIY (Do It Yourself). About 50% of the repins are of food. Does that mean that your company should create boards about food and fashion?

It’s a definite yes, if your business is related to the food and fashion world, but it’s so easy to create these boards just to gain new followers. But that’s a terrible way of thinking and a big mistake.

There’s the old philosophy that it is better to have a small loyal tribe, than it is to have a lots of people surround you but not be loyal.

When creating Pinterest boards, you want to design them with your tribe in mind. What kind of people do you want to attract using your pins? What kind of boards and pins are going to attract the types of readers and leads for a business?

Followers Are Not the Most Important Thing

You click on someone’s Pinterest account, and you find out, “Wow, this person has over 10,000 followers!” But what’s interesting about that particular metric is that it doesn’t give you the entire picture of the followers and what they’re behaviour and interest is.

Bike EXIF is a well branded Pinterest board, with over 2 million followers. Starbucks’ Pinterest account doesn’t even come close to that. Now you’ll see in the the picture below that they have a total of 2,090,297 followers in total. This represents all their followers on all their boards.

Bike EXIF Pinterest

But if you click on their Pinterest Board that’s for motorcycle t-shirts you’ll see that the board only has about 19,000 followers!!?? What gives? Where are the majority of their followers?

Cool Motorcycle T-shirts

The clear majority of their followers are interested in one board, and that’s the custom motorcycle board, which is responsible for 2 million of their followers. Other boards such as their Harley Davidson board gets 90,000 followers. It’s very clear that the majority of people that are Bike EXIF fans love custom bikes.

Custom Motorcycles

If you visit their board, what they don’t try to do is try to be everything to everybody. You won’t find food boards on there. You’re not going to find anything about women’s fashion. And yet they were able to build up to 2 million plus followers on one single board.

Always Think About Your Marketing Strategy

Bike EXIF isn’t there to try to get new followers for the sake of getting new followers. It’s there to ensure it gets the right followers. You always have to think about how this Pinterest board fits into the overall marketing strategy for your company.

Not all boards need to be about a product or service that you’re marketing, but it should have some relationship to your brand or company personality. You may want to show boards of the types of awesome foods that staff eat at lunch that are provided by the company as a way of attracting great and new talent.

Or you can show off behind the scene photos of what happens at the office to display the company’s culture. Or you can create a board that’s dedicated to your best customers and clients.

TOM Shoes, which are very comfortable to walk on, have about 1.9 million Facebook Fans. One of the activities they do so well on the Facebook is to encourage fans to voluntarily post their pictures on Facebook about where they’ve worn TOM Shoes. I love that idea and community involvement. Now imagine being able to transfer those pictures over to their Pinterest account.

At the moment, Tom’s Pinterest board is somewhat product driven, but really they should have a board just dedicated to fan photos.

It’s Easy to Focus on Followers

It’s so easy to build 50 different boards, and have those boards be about popular topics like food, fashion, and crafts, and then stuff them with keywords so that other people can find them, and then follow those boards.

But if your company isn’t about those things, then you’re gaining the wrong type of followers, and showing off to your director or whomever is in charge that you got 20,000 followers with over 50% of them following boards that have really no relationship to what your company is about is rather….well stupid. Would you put 50% of kids that are supposed to go to a math class into physical education class? I would imagine not.

It’s a Big Time and Space Suck

It’s hard to believe, but Pinterest does have a limit of 100,000 pins and 100 boards at most. Keep the number of boards to no more than 40, any more and it can really start to frazzle users and would indicate that your brand lacks focus and strategic thinking.

The other problem is the amount of time to maintain all those boards. Imagine that you’re dedicating 5 minutes to each board every week, then if you have 20 boards that’s about 100 minutes of your time. Now each time you add another board, that’s another 5 minutes, so what ends up happening is that with 40 boards, you’ve now doubled your time spent.

Focus on Creating Boards that Matter

It’s so easy to take the easy road and just try to get as many users as possible. But you have to remember that all social media is a marathon that pays dividends months, and sometimes years later. I guarantee you that Oreo, one of the hardest working brands on Facebook, took a lot of time and planning to ensure that they got their strategy right.

For more about Pinterest, I’ll be holding a workshop on Thursday, April 11th at 6:30pm in Downtown Vancouver at the HiVE. I’ll be discussing all the details about it.
Find out more here -> Pinterest for Markeitng and Lead Generation.

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Vincent Ng is the founder of MCNG Marketing, and the author of Pinterest to Profits with Pintalysis and the host of the Pinterest podcast, Pictures to Profits. You can grab your free e-book on How to Search Optimize Your Pins for Pinterest and Search Engines."
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  • George Rix

    I have now got hardly any traffic to my website via search terms on google et al. This is because so many of my paintings are being put on Pinterest and they are turning up first on google and it’s doing nothing for me. All my images are clearly copyrighted but Pinterest have little interest in protecting other people’s intellectual property. They also make it long and laborious to get images removed, if it’s done at all. I wish they would just bugger off!