The blogosphere is awash with theories outlining ways to gain social media followers fast and ways to increase engagement. These theories appear so often, people soak them up as truth when, really, they’re little more than myths.
Such theories exist for all social media platforms but this column will focus on busting Pinterest myths.
The pictorial platform boasts more than 100 million monthly users and recent research suggests 280,000 of those are based in Australia. What’s more, Pinterest is a haven for people planning for their future, including weddings. This means it’s a prime platform for jewellers to take the spotlight.
Without further ado, it’s time to debunk some myths.
Myth #1 – Pinterest is only for middle-aged women
It’s not even feasible that the 100 million-plus users are all middle-aged women interested in DIY activities or recipes. Pinterest is a robust platform that caters to a variety of diverse interests as well as age groups. One-third of Millennials leverage Pinterest to plan for the future and the platform is loaded with inspirational ideas on every conceivable topic, including career planning, business ideas, vacations and, of course, weddings.
In 2014, Pinterest doubled the number of male users on the platform. While they might not make up as large a slice of the market share as women, men are seeing the widespread appeal of the platform, using it to investigate topics they consider difficult such as engagement ring styles.
Myth #2 – post the same content across all platforms
If there is a golden rule in social media, it’s that users optimise for the platform they’re on. The creators of each platform designed the finer details of their medium to meet different needs in the marketplace. Optimising for each platform shows the audience that you understand what they are looking for, which will help to gain traction much faster than replicating cookie-cutter content on every medium.
This doesn’t mean that retailers can’t share the same photo or blog post to each channel. What it does mean is that it’s increasingly important to tailor the layout and description for that platform – Facebook and Twitter leverage landscape photos; Instagram photos are typically square; Pinterest thrives on a vertical layout, maximising the real estate and giving viewers a better chance to engage. Pinterest descriptions also include more details, piquing the interest of users to learn more.
Myth #3 – hashtags work the same on Pinterest
To tackle this myth, here is what the Pinterest Help Centre states: “Stick to one hashtag in your ad description. Hashtags don’t work on Pinterest like they do on other platforms – they don’t help you track what’s trending and they can confuse pinners. If you do include a hashtag, try using your business name or tagline.”
Pinterest doesn’t use hashtags in the way Twitter or Instagram do. Both of those platforms leverage hashtags to allow users to search for related content but Pinterest fundamentally serves as a search engine, thus eliminating the need for hashtags.
If you do decide to include one in your description, leverage it as a brand recognition tool – this could either be your business name or your tagline. Use them sparingly to direct people to your business, not away from it.
Myth #4 – people should delete pins with no engagement
I’ve saved this myth for last because it’s the one my workplace Tailwind is most passionate about: deleting Pins.
Deleting Pins solely because they didn’t perform well in the first few weeks can be a mistake that cuts your virtual legs out from under you. Many Pins take weeks, if not months, to make their way in front of an influencer whose Repin could take it viral.
Research shows that people who delete Pins see very low Repinning and fail to increase their follower rates. This is equivalent to those who only Pin between one and five times per day.
Did you catch that last part?
I’ll repeat it just to be safe. If you delete Pins frequently, your engagement is equivalent to those who only Pin between one and five times per day, meaning you are doing as well as a person who basically ignores Pinterest completely!
If you’re going to invest time and energy into putting Pins out there, at least allow them the ability to bring returns. Otherwise, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.
We’ll call that myth extra busted.