''Oh, cut out my heart. Throw my liver to the dogs.''
Henslowe, ''Shakespeare in love''
Just to make sure that I've made it clear enough for everyone and from the very beginning. THIS is not a Pinterest social media strategy.
It's a goddamn disaster I see too many companies doing to their boards instead of bringing visual and mental satisfaction.
This post was a logical “inspiration” from hours spent on Pinterest trying to figure out how a brand that was unknown can become known. Below you can see the most irritating examples of Pinterest use I've seen in months with my impatient, perfectionist comments.
What's more important any bad idea and any poor implementation can result in a reborn brilliant idea worth tons of traffic after a short brainstorming session. Let's search for better visual experience together.
Links are cool, value is better
Just lookie here. Doesn't a glimpse on this board make you scream in a sweet agony and produce a feverish sigh of ''Awwwwwhhh'' from the deepest corners of your heart? If you're like me, then your main instinct will probably be to vomit. Vomit from the deepest corners of your stomach.
I seriously mean it. Everyone's trying to pick his products/services into my throat on Twitter, Facebook, Google+; I can feel your sales message with every cell of my body when I see your email in my inbox. That's irritating by default. That makes me sick and I bet I am not the only one.
Firstly, no brand can name a board ''SEO'' and post irrelevant pictures with quite awkward descriptions. Secondly, no brand can write a saga in a board's description and expect me to read it. Seriously, I have like the Tower of Pisa made of dirty dishes waiting for me in the kitchen; it's more valuable for me to get rid of them than to satisfy your promotional libido by reading this crap.
Reborn strategy: Yes, you are on Pinterest to get some traffic benefits and have a competitive advantage when your rivals come to these pinterest-ing lands. The truth is, I am there for the same reason, but would promote myself quite the different way:
1) Whatever your description is, make it short and precise. I don't have time to read like 5 sentences of your promo speech, I don't even want to have time for that! One-two short sentences will be enough. Relevant hashtags rock too provided there are not more than 3-4 of them per pin.
2) Relevant pictures are a must. Nobody wants to experience cognitive dissonance when they see your boards. Great ''brand-user'' relationships happen when experience meets expectations.
3) Everyone wants to increase traffic and putting links to your site here or there really does work, but the sauce you use makes a huge difference. The abovementioned example looks without any doubt spammy and too promotional. Creating a different message with the site link could really make a sales pressure much milder.
4) OK, forget point 3, I was just trying to play the good cop. Anyone who promises you to be number one on Google for 5 days in no time should be persecuted and killed.
Sharing is not always carrying
I used to feel that it could not be worse, you know worse than the previous example. But you know what? I was wrong, that's a growing mankind tendency – to be constantly wrong. Worse than reading sales messages in occasional dashboards is getting an invitation to pin for them.
What can I say? ''Aaawwhh, you shouldn't have!''
Do you really want people to be your co-pinners? Or do you simply want to wake me up at night, preferably at 3 am, and shout in my ear: Please do-do-do buy from us! I mean I generally care about sales people because they simply want to get their bonuses, but if you're doing it so desperately someone should really take a rifle and finish your painful useless existence.
Reborn strategy: inviting other people to pin with you is really one of the best things you could do. Firstly, you save lots of time on finding pins as other people contribute to your board too. Secondly, you naturally increase the outreach as pins added to your boards will be seen both by your followers and also by followers of your co-pinners. How can we adjust this case to work for our own good and be less spammy?
1) OK, leave your site's link, but please do create a special board for this, the one that will be about your products, services or will be strictly created for your blog articles promotion. It's not a crime to advertise yourself. It's just not right to do it everywhere where people haven't banned you yet.
2) If you create a board with multiple contributors, make sure to moderate it carefully. You may be a good boy, but some spammers can use it for publishing occasional irrelevant pictures that have little to do with your Pinterest board theme. One spammy pinner can make an overall suspicious impression on anyone who sees your profile.
Rules are rules for everyone
Pinterest is young, yet some powerful players have been around here for a while which means that you have to keep finger on the pulse to keep up to the standards. What am I driving at?
When Pinterest asks you to verify your site, you just go and do this without tears and extra drama. Even if you are Microsoft (even though Microsoft did it for none of its official accounts).
How does a verified profile look like? Like this.
Everyone might know who you are, but I also know that you probably don't care too much about your Pinterest presence if you didn't verify your site or didn't take other minor yet important steps towards a right brand image.
Reborn strategy: no drama queen play, just verify your site to show that you are the official channel and look credible.
Now give me your best shot!
I don't really know how empty Pinterest boards are aligned with your strategy, but deep at heart I know you were doing this with good intentions. Looking creepy and perfunctory was definitely not on your to-do list.
Are you afraid of a Pinterest board name theft? Tsss, don't tell anyone, but one should not reserve any board names on Pinterest, scams of this kind work only with account names.
Having a profile like that looks unfinished, scruffy and just as if you forgot to put your shoes on in winter. Do you want me to press the “Follow All” button? Well, that doesn't make much sense.
Reborn strategy: it's not a rude mistake, however if Pinterest is all about visual impression and impact then you must establish yourself as a Pinterest Raphael (the one who painted, not the turtle-like dude wearing red). Do you know what a good painter would do?
1) He would never show the unfinished painting to anyone. If you want to rock, make sure to add at least a board cover that will give users a hint that this board was not created accidently and that more images are coming.
2) If you're afraid of forgetting some board ideas a good way would be just to create a list in MS Word or in a Google doc. Users should not see your sketches, they should see your masterpieces. At least until you become an established, well-known “painter”.
3) Feel like ''the organ of your imagination has dried up'' and though you have board ideas you still can't find images for them? No worries, even greater artists have peeped into other masters' works to give their imagination a push. Use the Search box on top of the page on the left to search for similar boards and find nice board covers.
Shall I compare thee to… Wait, it's you again?
People easily become lazy (I still try to hope that we are not permanently lazy), but you know what we do even faster? We get bored. We get bored each time we see/hear/read the same thing, each time we see something typical or clichéd. We get bored on Pinterest if your pictures are the internet plague. What do I mean speaking about picture plague? Everyone has these pictures but nobody really likes them because they are overused and have always been of a poor quality in the first place.
Pinterest is probably the most time-consuming social network these days. If you're a Social Media Manager you spend lots of time searching for your own interests and certainly you spend even more time searching for nice pins for your brand's profile. However, it's not an excuse for having such an ugly profile pic.
Seriously, you're a brand page, make your logo stand out and don't hide your identity behind a commonly used picture that a good business wouldn't even utilize for its blog post. I don't even want to know what's on your boards, because there are likely to be some typical images there.
Reborn strategy: just forget about such images. Do not use them for boards and do not use them for profile pics either. Your profile pic is one more way to write a visual word in Pinterest history. Instead of stuffing your boards and pins descriptions with sales speeches and links, just use your logo one extra time in a place where it rightly belongs to.
1) Ask your designer to create a logo picture for your Pinterest profile. The size is 160 x 165 px.
2) If you don't have a designer or he is incapable of producing more or less authentic visual content you can still search for cool images yourself and it doesn't even mean that you would have to pay for them. There's a cool site Creative Commons that makes the whole process a bit more comprehensive and easier for you. Moreover you can search for such images in Google Images advanced settings too, just choose the right option in usage rights section.
Unfortunately this list could have been significantly longer if I had more courage to freak you out with spam, sales pressure and visual garbage of the web, but I guess it's enough for today. Undeniably, the majority of similar Pinterest profiles have a huge list of followers. Just before some of you might think of adopting their strategies just ask yourself these questions:
- How many followers were bought?
- How many followers are bots?
- How many followers are real?
- How many real followers convert?
- If you were one of their followers, would you care checking what's on their website?
Some of you may say that criticizing others is pretty much an easy task. I am not sure whether that's an ''easy'' task, but it certainly can be funny sometimes. However my inner voice tells me that I have to be fair and let others criticize our own work. Here is a Link-Assistant.Com Pinterest profile, feel free to let us know what you think about it in the comments.
back to SEO blog