If you’ve been keeping up with This Week in Marketing (which you should be!), you’ll remember that a few weeks ago, Jason Pantana talked about Pinterest as one of the best underutilized marketing channels for real estate agents.
As Jason said, it’s not exactly social media or a search engine – Pinterest is a discovery engine.
I know that can sound a little confusing… That’s why we’re going to cover what Pinterest is, why you should be using it, and then give you eight tips to getting the most out of this remarkable platform.
A little note: A post on Pinterest is called a pin, but “pin” can also be used as a verb, such as: “I pinned my pin to a community board.”
So… What is Pinterest and What Makes it Different?
Pinterest combines the freeform exploration of Instagram with the specified, longform content you’d go looking for on Google. Some pins are simply pictures or videos seen directly from the site, but most are links to other blogs. This is a big deal for you, whose entire purpose is to direct people to your website.
There is also a huge difference in the lifespan of a Pinterest pin compared to any other social media.
- A tweet dies after about 5 minutes
- A Facebook post can stay relevant for up to six hours
- An Instagram post for up to 48 hours
- But a pin can keep building up views for over four months!
It’s a different game, which requires a different strategy.
Who Uses Pinterest?
444 million people. Sounds like a lucky number, doesn’t it?
87% of millennial pinners use Pinterest when they are planning on making a big life decision. Also, consider that 45% of Americans with a household income of over $100,000 are regular users of the platform.
If that’s not enough to convince you of the opportunity here, just take a look at the Pinterest site itself. A SIGNIFICANT portion of the content is directly home related. Home décor is the third most pinned category and the only category which ranks in the top four for both men and women.
On that note, it’s worth mentioning that 77% of Pinterest users are women, and eight out of ten moms use the Platform.
To recap all that… Pinterest users are:
- Already have or are starting families
- Thinking about their homes
- Looking to make big decisions
Need me to do the math for you? Let’s jump straight into the eight ways you can start taking advantage of this resource…
Tip #1: Plan for the Long Term
Pinterest is not going to show you results overnight. It is more like a relationship, and the more time and work you put in, the more love it’s going to show you. You need to put consistent effort into building your boards, producing quality content, and keeping up with the rest of these tips.
Your primary focus should be on creating evergreen content that will stay relevant for a while. It’s not the place to constantly post listings. You can post listings and you should, but only rarely.
A good ratio for this is the 70/30 Rule.
70% of your pins should be educational, inspirational, or pins shared from another source. 30% can be direct self-promotion. Not only will this build your audience, but it will help you find favor in Pinterest’s algorithm.
Tip #2: Make a Business Account
It’s free and offers you a ton of benefits. A business account enables you to:
- Connect your verified website
- Access analytics
- Search and browse trending keywords
- Create a header with your own branded pins
- Pay for ads and promote pins
These are all huge perks, but it is the analytics which really stand out. You can see how much traffic each of your pins drives to your website, so you can know what you’re doing right and what you might need to be doing more of.
Tip #3: Optimize Your Profile
You’d be surprised just how many people neglect to do this. You need to make sure to connect your site, name your boards appropriately, and write a Rockstar profile description. You wouldn’t just create a LinkedIn profile and start applying for jobs without taking the time to make your profile great. Nobody would hire you! It’s the same with Pinterest. You’re here to build a following and drive traffic, so don’t skip any steps.
Tip #4: Use Consistent Branding
Two weeks ago, we talked about building a brand bible, and if you haven’t done that yet, it’s worth at least getting your style guide down. Make yourself stand out with a unique asthetic. Pick your colors, your fonts, and always, always, ALWAYS use high quality images, NEVER blurry stock photos. Nothing will hurt you more on Pinterest.
If you’re really looking to stand above the rest, consider making custom thumbnails for each post, using your chosen typography and color scheme. And note that the long, vertical rectangles usually perform better than square images.
Tip #5: Remember Your Audience
Don’t forget: 77% women, 8/10 moms, a large percentage of people making over $100K. You have a more specific audience on Pinterest, so use that to your advantage. Speak to them directly. Instead of New 3 Bedroom Listing, try: 10 Great Neighborhoods to Start a Family in the DC Area!
Your titles are important, which brings us to…
Tip #6: It’s All About SEO and Driving Traffic
Pinterest is a tool to get people to your website. The way that this will most often happen is that a person will have a question and type it into Google. Google will then show them a link to a Pinterest pin which hits all those keywords. They’ll go to the pin and be redirected to your website.
This means need to:
- Have your website looking good
- Maintain a blog which is connected to Pinterest
- Be titling your posts appropriately
But people won’t just find your pins through Google. Many will come from straight from Pinterest. To optimize search for Pinterest, you need to do a little keyword research. Go up to the search bar and begin typing in a keyword that relates to your post. A dropdown bar will populate with suggested word combinations.
Another way to research is to use the Trends tool. This will allow you to search keywords to see how they are performing. Try to fit some of these keywords into not only your pin’s title but also the one to two sentence description. Obviously, you’re not trying to pack the description with keywords because they’re meant to be read by humans, not robots, who need to see appealing, easy to read sentences.
Tip #7: Engage with the Community and Join Group Boards
We just covered the search engine half, but you can’t forget the social media half of Pinterest. The more you comment and engage with other pinners, the more positive attention you’ll attract to your boards. This will also make you more likely to be accepted into group boards.
Group boards attract a big following of likeminded people, so getting in with these cool kids is going to massively increase your exposure. When you find the right boards for your content, you already have a built-in audience looking for your stuff.
There are two kinds of group boards: niche boards and dump boards.
Niche is… well… niche… They’re those quality boards where you’re going to attract a following and generate leads. So why would you ever join dump boards? Because they’ll allow you to pin anything, and every time you pin to a new group board you increase the number of repins for your content. So instead of solely relying on other people to repin your content, you can rack up those numbers all on your own.
Tip #8: Look at What Others are Doing
If you’ve read through all this and still don’t know exactly what you should be posting or what your profile should look like, I’m not the person to tell you. You can see for yourself! Pinterest is a visual platform. The best way to understand it is to experience it, and like all other things, the way to get good is to learn from the best.
Start following agents you know or some of the agents you’ve seen on this show. Check out what kinds of content they are posting, how often, and what it looks like. Once you see some styles you like, you’ll start getting ideas for your own.
In Conclusion, Don’t Give Up
Going back to Tip #1, you need to play the long game on Pinterest. Some days it may seem like all you’re doing is wasting time and energy, working hard on content that’s giving you nothing to show for it. Results will come. What you’re doing is sending your website out to a massive new audience of people, and that can take some time to build traction and establish yourself. You don’t want to be the miner who stops swinging 15 feet from gold.