This post is a guest post from my friend Jill over at UtahRoots. She originally published this information in the TpT forums. She adds a ton of value to Teachers pay Teachers as you can see in this high-quality post.
Pinterest is NOT an Option
This is just my little push for anybody who thinks they don’t have time to be consistent and strategic about Pinterest. Don’t feel like you have to read it if you already are using Pinterest effectively. This is for people who think it’s optional.
Pinterest drives the majority of traffic to TpT. You can’t upload a product and expect it to take off if you’re relying only on the TpT search function to get it noticed. Pinterest is my only method of marketing, so I’m really deadly serious about it. It’s taken me a year and a half of consistent work, but I’m starting (JUST starting) to get clear and obvious results from that work. I’d like to share what I’ve learned.
1. Learn Pinterest etiquette
Don’t spam. When you go to Pinterest, click on the red cursive Pinterest word at the top center of your main page. That’s called the main feed. You will see there the pins of everybody you’re following on Pinterest and pins from everybody who collaborates on boards you’re on. When you sit down and pin your new product to every single board you can pin to, everybody else on those boards will see your pin appear on their main feed. There is nothing more annoying that you could do on Pinterest than to fill the main feed with fifteen of the same pin one after another. That’s what you’re doing when you “vomit the pin” onto every board you can pin it to. Pin your product to one board. Wait awhile. Pin it to another board. Wait awhile. Don’t pin it more than three times in one day.
Be a good collaborator. If you’re invited to pin on a collaborative board you’re expected to act like a collaborator. You should pin at least two items of interest that are not products for every product you pin. If you pin your new product to a collaborative board, the MINIMUM STANDARD OF POLITENESS is to follow up with at least two interesting appropriate non-product pins to that board. Individual boards may require more than that.
Boards that are a solid wall of product covers are boards where pins go to die. Some professional marketing consultants recommend up to 5:1 non-product pins to product pins. So if you’re not going to take the job of collaborator seriously enough to find and pin at least 2:1, don’t ask to be allowed to pin to that board. And don’t be surprised if you’re kicked off. People who start boards and invite others to collaborate are not obligated to let you keep pinning. If you act like the board and everyone else on it exist to serve you, you’re going to get a rude awakening.
When you’ve pinned a product once to a board – any board – you need to go delete that pin before you pin the product again to that same board. It will have no effect on that pin anywhere else. I spend a lot of time on one of my boards where I made the mistake of inviting a seller who pins the same three or four products… Every. Single. Day. If I wasn’t following along behind, deleting the pins, the board would be a wall of that seller’s same four pins. I’m very close to just kicking the seller off that board. Pay attention to what you’re doing. Go visit the boards that you’re pinning to. Make sure you’re not monopolizing all the real estate.
2. Start your own boards
When you first start your store, you’re pretty much dependent on finding and being allowed to join good collaborative boards. But they’re good collaborative boards because the owner has been nurturing them for a long time. If you ever want to have a board like that, you have to start your own. It’s going to take you a year or more to get your own board(s) to a point where they’re getting you the results you’d like to see. It’s never too soon to start.
3. Design great pins
If you are pinning directly from your store, and your pins are those tiny little rectangular pictures of your cover, with a font that’s barely legible, don’t be surprised if they don’t get repinned. That kind of pin can’t compete with pins that are well designed and pinned to good boards. There are at least five or six forum threads and several free products from successful sellers that will teach you how to make a good pin. Do your homework.
4. Be consistent
Pin every day if you can. You won’t be able to pin your own products when you don’t have many to select from, but you can always find something good to contribute to a collaborative board or pin to your own fledgling boards. Fifteen minutes. Surely you can devote that much time every day or every other day.
5. Pin at the right time.
Data suggests that the best time to pin is between 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern time (US).
If you take Pinterest seriously and have patience, your pins will eventually circle the globe and get onto networks that will give you the results you hope for. It is going to take a long time to get to the point where you can count on a pin being repinned many times every day. But you have to start somewhere.