3 Ways to Optimize Pinterest to Get Noticed and Gain Followers

It’s a first here on the blog! Today we get the pleasure of a guest post from Carrie Waller of Dream Green DIY. In my efforts to provide more valuable content to you guys, I’m including some guest posts that will help you up your game on social media. With almost 50,000 Pinterest followers, Carrie is the best person I know to share about how to grow a following on Pinterest. Welcome, Carrie! 

Thanks for the warm welcome, Hilary! I'm thrilled to be here and to share a few quick and easy tips for maximizing your reach and influence on Pinterest. This social platform is one of my favorites for a number of reasons (beautiful room photos, cute cat pictures—oh, my!), and because of this, it has actually been one of the easiest for me to grow in the past five years. All it takes is a little bit of authentic passion—which, I imagine, most of you already have—and some strategic planning as you pin. Read on for my tried and true tricks, but I'm also curious to hear your perspective, so do share your own strategies in the comments!

1. Choose your board covers with care. 

Although some of my boards are group boards and I don’t have access to customizations like board covers, switching out those lead images can do wonders for the overall look of your account. I go in about once a month to change the cover images on my boards because I think it adds freshness to the overall look of my feed.

Take care to choose an image that crops well, and think about the overall color scheme you want to show off to your followers. I like to treat my Pinterest feed like my Instagram—I only pin images that match my bright white/bright colors aesthetic so that I can create that “branded” look whether you’re looking at my Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook profiles. To change your cover photos, click on “Edit” at the bottom center of each board, and then click the “Change” button next to “Cover.” Scroll through the options with the arrow, and then click “Save Changes.”

2. Fill your about section with useful information.

Another piece of your profile to pay close attention to and to keep updated over time is your “About” section. This is the first place that prospective followers will check to figure out who the heck you are, so make sure to include the big ticket items: your name, your job title and blog name (if applicable), other identifying titles and places where people can find you, and your location. You can add your URL in a separate box in the profile editor, so you don’t need to worry about including that in your “About” paragraph.

I include my name, my blog name, plus all of the places where I contribute my freelance writing, and then finish with my city, and state. I also just recently added my email and Snapchat handle to encourage more engagement there.

To edit your profile, just click on the “Edit Profile” button in the top right corner and enter your info in the window that pops up. I like to sync up my various profile copy between Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter so that my collective profile descriptions feel cohesive. Oh, and don’t forget to add a smiling headshot to your profile, too, so that people can put a face to your name!

3. Don’t forget to pin your own content.

Like most creative bloggers and content creators, Pinterest is my top referrer for new readers. This is where my projects have the best chance of going “viral” thanks to the huge following that Pinterest garners, not to mention the search-ability (which I’ll cover in the next bullet item). So, as you work to create original, high-quality content on your blog or website, don’t forget to pin it to your own Pinterest feed! By strategically adding your projects to the mix, you have the opportunity to share it with, really, the entire world.

I see the most success with this methodology when I pin to shared boards. These special group boards feature a whole slew of creatives with their own followings, which exponentially increases the likelihood of a viral pin.

If you aren’t part of any group boards, I would encourage you to put yourself out there and search around for a group board that fits your niche and style, and then try reaching out to the board leader (shown in the first circle on the left). My favorite group boards are BHG’s Best DIY Ideas, Blogger’s Best DIY Ideas, and DIY Bloggers in case you want to follow along or see examples of this.

Are you all about Pinterest? What are your favorite uses for Pinterest? 

For more great tips from Carrie on maximizing the opportunity of Pinterest, check out her blog and read the full post here! She’s also written extensively on Snapchat. Check it out here and here

Hilary's Social Media Tuesday Tip 002: Your 13-Second Hashtag Tutorial (Plus a Bonus!)

Hey guys! Back again with another Tuesday Tip! Today we're talking about hashtags and reach. If we're creating content for business we certainly want to reach as many people as possible. Are hashtags the way to go? Should you always slap on a hashtag just in case it helps expand your audience? It's important to know how hashtags work on each social platform. Here's a quick run-down of what you need to know.

1. Twitter. Hashtags can be very effective for growing your audience. I would encourage you to really only use them when they're highly appropriate for a certain audience. And more often than not add them on at the end. Because #nothing is more #annoying than a #tweet that looks like #this. #amiright?

2. Instagram. This is the place where you can really feel that hashtag freedom--especially if you put your hashtags in a comment below your caption rather than right in the caption. To each his own but I'm comfortable with seeing a good 9 or 10 hashtags if they are purposeful.

3. Linkedin. Leave your hashtags at home people because they don't do anything for you on this platform!

4. Facebook. This one is tricky guys. Hashtags do work on Facebook but they don't actually expand your reach. Facebook's algorithm actually punishes posts that include hashtags. So avoid, avoid!

And a bonus that didn't fit in my 13-second video:

5. Pinterest. Hashtags are only clickable in a pin description. Don't bother with them on boards or in your profile bio. Words without hashtags are just as searchable as words with hashtags on Pinterest. So unless you're creating a special hashtag just for your brand and you want consistency across Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, it may not be worth bothering.

I hope you've found this brief hashtag tutorial helpful. If you have any other hashtag questions feel free to throw them at me!

5 Easy Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Business’ Social Media Presence

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It’s a given that your business needs to have a social media presence. And you’ve probably got one. But what can you do to make it just a little better today without spending a lot of extra time and energy? Here’s five tips you can implement today to improve your company’s social media presence.

1. Ask questions. Social media is about starting conversations. When was the last time your business to consumer brand asked a question of your audience online? Even on a business page, you don’t have to be “all business.” You can recognize a current event or national holiday and ask people about their plans. ie: "Anybody out there got a case of the Mondays? Comment on this post and come in before 9 AM for a free drip coffee. We want to make your week a little better."

2. Put a face with a name. When it comes to a social media presence for a small business a logo is good but a face is better. Go ahead and put an image of the owner or an employee as the profile picture for your business’ social media account. This brings accessibility and a personal touch to your online engagement.

3. Respond within 24 hours. Have you ever tried to get answers from a brand via Twitter or Facebook only to never hear from them? Not exactly sparkling customer service. Commit to responding to messages, comments and @ replies within 24 hours. The sooner the better.

4. Add photos. With the popularity of apps like Snapchat, Instagram and even the social media giant Pinterest, there’s no denying that images are everything. Post photos from time to time that exude your company culture.

5. Show some personality. Feel free to express excitement over a new product line. Post an article that has a controversial perspective on a business trend. Do anything but be all self-promotey all the time. Contribute value to the online conversation and avoid being confused for a robot.

What about you? Do you have any easy solutions for stepping up a company’s social media game?