“Story pins” are now “idea pins.” Experts say “repins” are out, and saving a new pin is now called “create.” Did the Pinterest algorithm change again? How can you possibly keep up with all of the changes happening on Pinterest?
For small business owners using Pinterest as a marketing tool, overwhelm is understandable with the rate and breadth of Pinterest changes. If you’re feeling it, you’re not alone. Factor in all the pressures of trying to keep up with the running of your business, and it is no wonder you might be struggling to come up with an effective Pinterest strategy.
It’s possible that you don’t need more knowledge or information about Pinterest. You just need a new way to understand Pinterest in order to find long-lasting success on the platform.
Focus on what’s important
The key is to stop trying to keep up with all of it and instead focus on monitoring two things: Key performance indicators to identify when there’s a problem or undesired results and Pinterest changes that create relevant opportunities for your business. Tracking key metrics will reveal what’s working and what isn’t. When there’s a problem, search for answers about Pinterest changes that could have affected performance and results.
The best place to get information about Pinterest is Pinterest. Go to the source. Pinterest and Pinterest partners issue the most relevant news about what’s important to Pinterest.
Scan the articles for any information that stands out as relevant to your business. You don’t need to know all of the information, understand, or memorize it. You only need the information that is relevant to your business.
Understand Pinterest’s mission
It’s important to understand Pinterest’s mission and monetization model in order to get an idea of the motivation behind the frequent updates.
Pinterest’s mission is to “bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love” through visual discovery. Sounds great, but remember that Pinterest is monetized with ads. The more time a user spends on Pinterest, the more they trust Pinterest and the more often they visit, which translates into more revenue for Pinterest from ads shown to these users, or “Pinners.” Based on Pinterest’s mission and monetization model, it should come as no surprise that “user experience” is most important to Pinterest.
When you learn about a Pinterest update, ask yourself how it is improving the user experience. Think, “where is the opportunity for my business on Pinterest, knowing this new information? How can I provide the best user experience to the Pinner while still reaching my goals?”
Avoid making these common mistakes
Blaming the “algorithm”
Blaming the “algorithm” is a common yet inaccurate explanation for undesired results on Pinterest.
It’s true Pinterest uses algorithms to create desired results. Everything Pinterest does is determined by how the artificial intelligence applies these rules. In other words, everything that happens on Pinterest is because of “the algorithm.”
As businesses using Pinterest for marketing, our power is in understanding the intent Pinterest has behind these rules (expressed in the algorithm), finding where that overlaps our goals, and creating a strategy to achieve the results we want. Blaming the “algorithm” removes our responsibility for results and doesn’t solve the problem.
Failing to fact check
Moving forward on new information without checking the source can lead to wasted time and loss of revenue. For example, Pinterest never publishes any kind of news release announcing that they’ve had an “algorithm change.” Yet you may have heard someone stating that Pinterest has had an “algorithm change” followed by suggestions of new tactics to try in light of the change.
Check the source of “updates” you hear before taking action.
Taking action that’s not aligned with your goals
Doing things out of alignment with your goals and resources can lead to negative results.
For example, you might have heard in a Pinterest update that how-to videos are the best performing video pins. You decide to create how-to videos to gain more Pinterest followers. However, your goal is to get more sales of your finished handmade products from people buying finished goods. How-to videos might perform well as video pins, but they are targeting the wrong audience (DIYers) for your goals.
Don’t do something because it’s new or touted as a “good performer” if it doesn’t move you forward on attaining your goals.
Focusing on mechanics over intent
Focusing on mechanics, such as the number of pins per day or the percentage a graphic must change in order for a pin to be considered “fresh,” is a very common mistake. “Fresh pins” is one of the most misunderstood topics in this regard. Pinterest has never given a prescriptive directive on the number of pins per day or any other static figure regarding how to use Pinterest because it would create a negative user experience. (For more on this, check out my video.)
Take control of your Pinterest strategy
Now that you know where to get information about Pinterest, make a list of these sources to check as you evaluate your Pinterest strategy:
Remember, you don’t need to be a Pinterest expert to get results on Pinterest and you also don’t need to know about every change on Pinterest.
Watch your analytics, go to Pinterest for information about what’s important to them, and filter this information through the lens of Pinterest’s mission and monetization model. Identify relevant opportunities for your business and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Jennifer Priest is a prominent digital marketing strategist and educator specializing in generating massive traffic with Pinterest. In her program SMART Pin Pro™, Jennifer uses a proprietary framework to help businesses develop a dynamic Pinterest strategy unique to their needs, that sends consistent traffic to their online properties. Jennifer’s experience as an etsy shop owner, online course creator, blogger, influencer, and social media manager give her a unique understanding of the challenges of running and marketing a digital biz, which she brings to her work with bloggers and online businesses alike. Get started with her free Pinterest Traffic Roadmap now at https://smartpin.pro/map