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9 Ways to Build Your Pinterest Audience

May 24, 2013
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226810

In her book Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business, marketing and branding expert Karen Leland provides a Pinterest roadmap that will help you drive website traffic, boost your brand and build business. In this edited excerpt, the author outlines nine strategies that will increase the number of people following your boards on Pinterest.

If you're looking to be highly proactive in increasing your Pinterest following, here are some strategies to consider:

Build more niched boards.
Take a look at the most popular players on Pinterest, and it will become clear they have a plethora of boards, usually between 50 and 100, on average. It's also obvious that those same users have gone to great efforts to make their boards as niched as possible so they stand a better chance of being found (and followed) by a targeted audience. For example, if you're a cookbook writer, a single board named "desserts" that features all manner of sugary goodies would work, but you might draw more followers if you took that same board and split it into four:

By refining your boards to be more relevant to the people who are the most interested in those specific topics, you increase your chances of getting followers.

Jump on the trending topics bandwagon.
People, places and events that are popular at the moment make great bait for finding new followers. Topics that are trending will be getting keyword-searched on the site, and if you have a pin that fits, you stand a good chance of picking up some of that traffic. Reachli.com says that pins related to trending topics see an average 94 percent increase in click-throughs. So it pays to pay attention to the trending topics on Pinterest and to what's trending on other social media sites. A few great resources include:

Post to your most popular boards.
For those boards of yours that have a significantly larger following than others, post with slightly more frequency. Since more people are following these boards, your chances for a higher rate of repins -- and hence new followers -- is greater.

Follow high-profile and highly relevant people.
While the criteria for whom you follow should first and foremost be the relevance of their pins to your business and brand, there's a case to be made for having at least 10 percent of whom you choose be the big dogs in their fields. By following these power players, you increase the chances that they'll follow you back, repin, like, and comment on your images, and give you greater exposure to their large followings.

Use keywords in all your pins.
Paying attention to SEO is a significant part of pinning. The more on target you are with the keywords you use in your boards and pin descriptions, the more likely you are to draw followers searching for and interested in those topics.

Promote Pinterest with your email newsletter.
Given the stringent no-spam requirements that exist for email marketing today, it's a safe bet that the people already on your distribution list want to hear from you. Several ways to build your Pinterest following with a newsletter include:

Add Pinterest to your email signature line.
You have the opportunity with every email you send to anyone -- client, potential client, friend, colleague, stranger you just met on the airplane -- to promote your Pinterest and gain followers. Simply add the dedicated URL of your Pinterest to the end of your signature line, where the links to your other social media (website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) live, and allow people to follow you with a single click.

Reciprocate.
A good best practice is to always check out a new follower, or someone who has liked or repinned one of your images, and consider whether you want to follow them back. Some of the criteria to take into account include: