This morning I reached 1000 Pinterest followers on my new Pinterest account! -confetti and fanfare- This comes exactly two months from when I began my Pinterest account in late September. More importantly, in that time I’ve doubled the traffic I receive from Pinterest. But most notable is the HUGE amount of information I’ve learned about Pinterest in these past weeks. I thought I knew Pinterest when I began this account (and I did), but I the deeper I dug, the more I learned. I have a lot to share, but today I want to talk about Pinterest followers: How to get them, why it matters, and how it doesn’t matter as much as you think.
How to Get Pinterest Followers
All the tips I shared in my How to Get Your First 100 Followers still apply and are good, solid tips. I have since then discovered that if your goal is simply followers, of any kind and quality, the fastest way to get them is to follow other Pinterest users. I experimented with this on a brand new Pinterest account a couple of days ago and I reached 100 Pinterest followers in just one day by following others. It took maybe 20 minutes of my time to do over the course of the day.
But, you have to ask yourself: Are these followers GOOD followers? Maybe yes, maybe no. If you followed people in your area of interest, and they followed back, then sure — these are probably good followers and will stick around if you pin quality content. But if you followed just anyone, or followed the followers of popular but non-related accounts, then those followers are neutral and they are likely to unfollow you later anyway.
Ultimately, the follow-for-follow method falls short. You are limited to following 50,000 Pinterest accounts. This may seem like a large number, but if you intend to grow your account with this method you will reach that limit. It’s also important to note that I, and many others, check the ratio of followers when deciding whether or not to follow an account. If the number of followers exceeds the number of accounts being followed, I generally consider it a good Pinterest account to follow. That means you need to avoid following a crazy amount of people. I personally do not plan to follow any more than 1000 people on this account, ever. Also, following all those accounts will mean your Pinterest feed will be full of stuff you do not care about.
How to Get ORGANIC Pinterest Followers
The best Pinterest followers to get are the ones that follow you because they like what you pin. These followers are more likely to re-pin your content and visit your site. Here are my recommendations for gaining organic followers:
- Pin excellent and visually-appealing content on a regular basis, all throughout the day, every day.
- Keep your boards organized and appropriately named with keywords.
- Join group boards related to your topics and contribute to them (follow the rules!).
- Follow Pinterest accounts of influencers in your niche, but keep your follower ratio in your favor.
- Be patient. It takes time to get the Pinterest ball rolling.
Do Pinterest Followers REALLY Matter?
Yes, it does matter that you have Pinterest followers. As I mentioned previously, having followers matters for organic growth — it’s called the halo effect. The halo effect is when the overall impression of a person or company influences an observer’s feelings and thoughts about that person or company. In other words, the more popular people think you are, the more they like you. You know, high school politics.
Pinterest followers also matter for getting your new pins seen organically, as some of them are shown in your followers’ feeds. Marketers use the rule of thumb of 1-2 site visitors per month per follower. I think this is generally true, but you can do even better. For example, I am now averaging 2700 clicks per month from Pinterest, which is 2.7 site visitors per month per follower. My older, less active account is within the 1-2 site visitors per month range, but on the lower end at 1.1 visitors per follower. So, yes, it matters, but you can influence how many visitors you get within your range potential based on your activity and quality levels!
But How MUCH Does Your Pinterest Follower Count Matter?
I think the graphic below sums it up best. The graphs on the top are my very active two-month-old Pinterest account with 1000 followers; the graphs on the bottom are my not-so-active five-year-old Pinterest account with over 5000 followers. My new account has higher impressions, viewers, engagement, daily impressions, and daily viewers. The only place my older account has higher numbers is clicks to my site (as mentioned above), and that’s because it’s older and it’s pins have had time to propagate further throughout Pinterest.
So my new account is getting double or higher numbers with 1/5th the followers. And it’s only growing. I feel this new Pinterest account is poised to do amazing things for my blog. Imagine how powerful this Pinterest account will be when it’s got 5000 followers. Or 10,000.
How Do I Apply This to My Pinterest?
One of two ways. If you’re new to Pinterest, get started right out of the gate doing everything right. I’ve got Pinterest tips galore, and I’ll be posting them here over the coming months. Bookmark my site and visit often.
If you have an established but not super active Pinterest account, roll up your sleeves, start pinning, and make your Pinterest account sing for you. You need to be posting 50-100 pins per day (20% from your site, 80% repins from other sites), throughout the day, for Pinterest to sit up and notice that your account is active. I know that’s a lot, and no one has time to sit on Pinterest all day pinning, so I recommend using BoardBooster to schedule pins — as you can see, it’s working really well for me. I am a huge fan of BoardBooster!
I’m happy to answer any questions you have about Pinterest — just post it here. And if you prefer to have someone manage your Pinterest account for you, I take clients on a limited basis. Contact me and we’ll discuss your account!
January 2016 Update: Pinterest is really just amazing. I now have over 2500 followers, but I now see how that number is so less important than I thought when I first began. In early January I had a pin go viral — it’s currently up to 51,000 repins — and it sent a TON of traffic to my site. To be specific, that one pin was clicked 23,000 times to go to my site and increased my mailing list by over 1300 subscribers. I’m still getting traffic from it, and probably will for a while. It was pretty amazing. And I mostly attribute it to being on group boards and having a super active account, not having a lot of followers. If you want to hear how I use group boards, let me know!