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How to Succeed on Pinterest with Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media

Jumprope Tips

This post includes notes from our Clubhouse Chat on April 16, 2021. Join our Content Creator Club on Clubhouse for future chats!

photo of Kate Ahl

On the Clubhouse app this week, we were joined by Pinterest marketing expert, Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media. Kate is the go-to person for everything Pinterest after starting Simple Pin Media in 2014. In our conversation, she answered top creator questions and shared her valuable tips for succeeding on Pinterest.

As mentioned in our chat, Jumprope has 9 different downloads that creators leverage for Pinterest. Our creators often say we are the most efficient tool to create Pinterest Pins. Learn how to use these videos & photos most effectively throughout the conversation notes below!

How many Pins should we be pinning daily to see traffic? Should we be pinning on weekends too?

  • The ideal number has been changing over the last 2 years. It used to be much higher, but Kate now recommends pinning less.
  • The amount of content you create and publish dictates how many Pins you should share daily.
  • If you have consistent content and an established content library, share 10-15 Pins daily including on weekends. Weekends are a great opportunity when viewers spend time searching and scrolling.
  • Kate pins 7-10 Pins daily.
  • Make sure you aren’t spamming the platform by pinning the same thing over and over again.
  • For someone who has less content or is just starting out, aim to create 2-5 Pins daily and be consistent.

What’s the best way to schedule all of these pins and stay organized?

  • This brings up a debate: will scheduling help you or hurt you? There’s two things to consider:
    1. First: what is most beneficial for your time, what makes you most productive?
    2. Second: check your numbers on the platform. If you notice numbers are worse while scheduling with a tool, experiment with a different scheduling tool.
  • Kate loves using a scheduling tool because it allows her to be consistent. She uses Tailwind right now. Many clients want something they can also streamline with their other social platforms.
  • As an added bonus, you get great analytics from scheduling tools.
  • She has a blog post breaking down free Pinterest-approved scheduling tools: Canva, Planoly, Later, Tailwind.

We received a few questions about Pin description: do you recommend using hashtags, keywords, an actual sentence description… what have you seen perform best?

  • For descriptions, Pinterest likes natural sounding sentences. Include 2-3 sentences written about the Pin, exactly how you would text a friend. Be sure to include your keywords in those sentences!
  • Keep in mind that few people will actually read the description. You’re mainly writing the description for the Pinterest algorithm.
  • Regarding hashtags, Kate used to use a couple of hashtags in the description but she has now moved away from hashtags.

Let’s talk Story Pins. Jumprope has a Stories download, and that’s all I’ve used because it’s easy and performs well. What strategy or tips would you recommend for using Story Pins effectively?

  • Story Pins are a new way to get engagement on Pinterest. Impressions are starting to go down a little bit compared to when Story Pins first launched, but they are still high overall. Story Pins aren’t going anywhere, so start using them!
  • The best Story Pins are informational. That means less like an Instagram Story, more like “5 Quick Tips” type content.
  • Currently, using a 15-second video for the first card is performing best.
  • Although you cannot add a link to Story Pins, Pinterest adds it’s own overlay card at the end prompting people to visit your profile.
  • To create your first Story Pin, Kate recommends starting with a basic post you can repurpose. Break it down into 5-6 quick steps.
  • Test 1-2 story Pins a week and see how it affects your engagement and followers.
  • Features like Story Pins are something that marketers see first and Pinners see second.
  • We’re seeing some creators start to share Reels or TikTok as a single frame Story Pin. It’s too early to tell if this will be successful, but Kate recommends trying it out and tracking how it does
  • Remember: when sharing a Reel or a TikTok, keep in mind Pinners on Pinterest are more interested in the actual project, and less in you. Ensure that it’s showing them how to do something or providing value.

For someone in their early stages of using Pinterest, are there a couple of actionable tips to get started? Do you recommend that they start pinning a ton and make boards as they go?

  • Brand your profile first. Focus on what you do, what you share, or what you sell.
  • If you have any boards that aren’t part of your brand, make them secret to hide them.
  • Board names should be very keyword-focused (stay away from names that are cute or fun instead of descriptive).
  • 5-10 boards is a good place to start. Don’t forget to add a board description for each!
  • When starting out on Pinterest, create at least 1 Pin/day to start.
  • Don’t pin the same exact Pins. Diversify what the images look like! Use Jumprope’s different images and videos to ensure you’re switching up Pin styles.
  • Give yourself 3-6 months of consistently pinning every day to see results. Pinterest is not an instant gratification platform. It’s less of a community like Instagram, and more of a search engine like Google.
  • Remember to review your analytics to see what does best for you and your brand.
  • When you’re getting started, think about why you are using Pinterest for business. Is your audience already there? Why are you using Pinterest to reach them? This is important to remember when you hit a plateau & need to go back to why you’re using Pinterest.

If my main goal is driving traffic to grow an audience on another platform, (like Instagram or Jumprope), instead of driving traffic to a website, how would that change my Pinterest strategy?

  • Going from platform to platform can be kind of clunky, and some people might not have the other social media platform app which would be a poor experience. Pinners typically expect to go to a website.
  • In general, Kate does not recommend sending Pinners to another platform.
  • YouTube is the exception that tends to do well. You can Pin a teaser of a video, but include information at the end that sets the Pinner’s expectation that they will be taken to YouTube.
  • Similar to Youtube, you can tease Jumprope videos on Pinterest and link to Jumprope. Don’t worry, if Pinners don’t have the Jumprope app they’ll view your Jumprope in their web browser.
  • Instagram posts tend to be more timely, while Pinners will look at Pinterest content for 3-6 months.

After reviewing questions that were submitted in advance, we opened up the chat for a live Q&A! Here are the questions from the audience and Kate’s answers.

Currently, I’m doing 8-10 slides for Story Pins and they’re doing well. Should I start playing with shorter content?

  • If it’s already working for you, keep it up! You can test going down to 5-6 cards, but if more cards is already working you should keep doing that.

How many boards should I have on my profile?

  • There’s no magic number, because it will depend on your content and the amount of content you have.
  • Avoid boards that only have a few Pins. 
  • More specific boards are better if you have enough content.
  • The board name, board description, and Pin description tells the algorithm where to show your Pins. If someone looks at your Pin, the algorithm will suggest more Pins from that board, so you want it to be specific.
  • Example: Instead of pinning a vegan waffle to a board that’s Vegan Recipes, pin it to Vegan Breakfast Recipes.

What type of Pin should I create to promote my Youtube cooking channel?

  • For a cooking video, try starting with a hands & pan style video. End with a call to action to “learn more on my Youtube channel.”
  • The Pin video cover could be the photo of the finished meal, and the video could end with a shot of you and the food so they understand it is a cooking show.

I always put the name of the recipe on the static pin image. On the title description in Pinterest, I repeat the same exact name. Should they be the same? As a side note, I’m making a few Jumpropes weekly and using them on Story Pins and I have really seen my following grow!

  • They can be different! Think about the text on the image like a billboard and sell it. Use something descriptive like “4 ingredient strawberry pie” or “easiest strawberry pie” instead of just Strawberry Pie.

How do I find keywords and create descriptions for boards?

  • For keywords, try these two strategies: 
    • Use the search bar at the top of Pinterest. When you start typing a keyword, it will give you recommendations for high-volume search terms.
    • Use the new Pinterest trends tool. Enter your keywords to see when people are searching for a particular topic. The trends tool will give you related pins and suggested boards at the bottom.
  • For board descriptions, write 1-2 sentences that include your keywords. Once you create it, you don’t really need to change it.

Where can I get design ideas to make the best Pin images?

  • To create images from scratch, Canva is a great tool. Jumprope provides you with 3 Pin images every time you create.

Is it worth my time to re-pin content to new boards?

  • To define re-pinning: once you pin something to one board, then you also pin it to another board. 
  • The important thing to remember is to pin first to your board that is most closely-related to the Pin. For example, if you’re pinning a DIY spice rack, pin it to Pantry DIY Projects. Choosing a specific board first will give your Pin the most impact. 7-14 days later, you can re-pin the Pin to another board where it would also fit, such as Kitchen DIY.

When someone pins from my website, how do I ensure keywords are included as well?

  • Kate recommends using Grow by Mediavine. Other tools to look into are Social Warfare or Tasty Pins.
  • When using a Plugin like that, you can fill in the Pin title and description in the image so it will automatically fill in the information.

Does it matter what time of day you pin?

  • If you want to see when you’re getting the most interaction, you can look in Google analytics and then pin at that time.
  • Kate personally doesn’t do this because the Pinterest feed is not time-based. It’s a combination of pins they have viewed, Pins from similar boards, suggested Pins, etc. A Pinner can see your Pin 6 months down the line in their feed. It’s much more evergreen than other platforms, so time of day is not as important.

Are group boards worth your time?

  • Although they used to be, they’re not anymore. Focus on pinning to your own boards instead.

What is the easiest way to share IG posts to Pinterest? Should I be editing elsewhere first to add text, or can I just share the image?

  • Do not just share the image directly. The size will not do well on Pinterest as a Pin. 
  • Use Canva’s Pro resize tool to make it vertical. 2:3 is the preferred aspect ratio. Adding text is a good idea.
  • Rewrite your description instead of using a caption, and do not include the hashtags from Instagram.
  • Keep in mind: Pinners aren’t interested in you or your story. They’re interested in the project they’re searching for. If you’re sharing Instagram posts, choose posts that are valuable for Pinners.

What should I do if my analytics are dropping out of nowhere this year?

  • If you’ve been on Pinterest for more than a year or two, look at your last couple of years to compare. In the case of 2020, look at the year before also. 2020 was a very different year, so many creators saw huge spikes in analytics that are not sustainable. When comparing with your previous year, ask yourself:
    • What went up or down?
    • Are the drops relative to previous seasonal changes?
  • If you had a top Pin, it might have fallen out of search in Pinterest for whatever reason. Check your top Pins to see if you notice a difference.
  • Keep in mind, the Pinterest algorithm is changing. Less static Pins are showing up in feeds. Instead, videos and Story Pins are taking priority. Try repurposing videos to gain back traffic!
  • Use Jumprope to repurpose your photos and turn them into Story Pins or videos.

How should we be positioning ourselves for future changes on Pinterest?

  • Keywords, images, and consistency are the foundation of Pinterest. These will continue to be important.
  • Know your ‘why’. Why are you using Pinterest for your business? Why does it help you make sales or gain traffic?
  • When you know your why, you can assess if Pinterest is a good tool for your business. If so, continue to adapt with Pinterest changes like Story Pins or video and embrace them.
  • Make small course corrections throughout by reviewing your analytics and assessing what works for you and what doesn’t.
  • For example, Kate assessed her recent traffic and realized the majority was coming from Pins in a How-To format. Therefore, she decided to create more content in this format because that was resonating with Pinners.

You can find Kate at her website here, on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Would you like us to bring Kate back for another Pinterest Q&A? Let us know in the comments!

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