When we officially launched The Write Lens Pinterest page about a year ago, we had zero Pinterest strategy, let alone a sharable Pinterest strategy for photographers! Sure, I knew a bit about engagement and the importance of posting consistently from my time as a social media manager, but I didn’t know about the little quirks of Pinterest itself.
We quickly learned that Pinterest, unlike Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, isn’t exactly a social media platform in the traditional sense. It’s a search engine…just with an aesthetic twist! And after some heavy research, trial and error, and constant tweaking, we found success! So, we wanted to share with you how we went from “umm…idk just post something?” to 200k+ monthly views on our Pinterest in less than a year!
Check out our seven-step Pinterest strategy for photographers, and give it a try!
1. Post consistently (not daily…just consistently!)
The number one thing that you need to do first is post consistently. I know, I know. That’s what all the social media blogs tell you to do. But, here on Pinterest, posting consistently is just as important as everywhere else.
While you’ll likely be advised to post daily, we like to opt for sustainability over perfection. So, I quickly adopted a routine of pinning once or twice a week, which was enough to grow the following of the page. If you’re doing all your marketing through Pinterest alone, I recommend putting up pins more than once or twice a week, but for us here at The Write Lens, content marketing comes first. So, I focused on writing first and designing pins second.
In the same way, you’re not a social media manager—you’re a photographer. So, taking photos and supporting your clients should be your top priority! By building a consistent schedule that you can slip seamlessly into your schedule, you can grow your Pinterest presence without feeling stressed or dropping any of the other zillion balls you’re juggling.
2. Give all the new features a try
It can be tempting to stick with what you know: posting the simple images you’ve grown used seeing on Pinterest for the last decade. But avoiding new features can horribly hinder your growth!
Through experimentation, I’ve found that idea pins, which are Pinterest’s version of Instagram stories (but they don’t disappear, woo!), often get more views than the other posts we try. I originally thought they wouldn’t be as valuable because you can’t add a link directly from them to your off-platform content. But when it comes to attracting eyeballs, idea pins are invaluable! Why? Because when it comes to platforms like these, we live at the whim of the creators. And if the creators introduce something new, you’ve gotta try it out, or risk getting deprioritized by the algorithm. (Many of you probably feel this pain from Instagram reels. Ohhhh reels…).
After idea pins were introduced, I noticed engagement on our other pins dropped off. Naturally, I panicked at first. But after giving the idea pins a try, we immediately regained all the engagement we’d lost.
Moral of the story: try the new things, even if they are a little scary at first. They’ll help your business grow!
3. Follow people who are similar to your ideal client
This step is necessary for telling Pinterest, “Hey, these are my ideal clients, show my content to these types of people!” By following people you’ve worked with who are your ideal clients and people who are similar to those people, you’re telling Pinterest who you want your audience to be and where it should display your content.
I made it a habit of following the clients we worked with each week. This was a way to show the Pinterest algorithm that we were consistently following people and keeping up with the page. And, it was also a way to show our past clients that I was keeping up with their work and repinning their stuff! Engagement goes both ways, people! It’s been a fun way to stay in touch with past clients and meet new ones!
4. Track your analytics to determine your content strategy
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that you need to devote time to making pins with a higher chance of doing well. I mean, who wants to waste time content-blasting a bunch of pins that will just get skipped over by the algorithm? But finding out which pins do well with YOUR unique target audience takes some time. So, right from the jump, I made a habit of checking the insights page to see which pins were getting the most views, pins, and clicks.
By doing this, I learned that The Write Lens’s Pinterest audience mostly engages with:
- Single-page pins, not carousels
- Pins PACKED with information
- Pins with an eye-catching visual element, like a wheel or chart
- Pins that had helpful details of detail in the description and the alt text
So, I started making more of those! Some business owners do content blasts, but for me it was more important to work smarter, not harder, since I knew I’d need to use a lot of brain power to continue writing client content, blogs, and emails.
As a photographer, I’m sure you feel similarly! Rather than spending tons of time designing new pins, it’s important to focus on ones you believe will do well. Track your insights on the “analytics” page to see what your top pins are. Make a list of your shared qualities, and keep honing in on those! Pinterest is a constant experiment—so don’t be afraid to try new things, iterate, and improve.
5. Organize your boards and pin other peoples’ content to them, along with your own
Pinterest is similar to Instagram in that the algorithm rewards you for being active. On the days you make pins, just take an extra five or ten minutes to pin 5-20 pins from other peoples’ pages. Then, organize these into boards with clearly defined headings and board covers. This helps your page look more visually appealing and clean.
I recommend using a design platform like Canva to create simple board covers with the title on them. Make them square like traditional Instagram posts (hey, maybe even use the images from your instagram posts!). Pin them to the board you want to use them as the title for, then click the three dots under the board title that allow you to edit the board. There will be an option to change the header image of the board. Pick the image you pinned, and voila! New board header image!
Your Pinterest will look much cleaner and more cohesive. And, you’ll get some algorithm bonus points for making pins. Woohoo!
6. Optimize your boards and pins for SEO
I know you’re going to hate to hear this, but SEO doesn’t just matter on your website—it matters here, too. But before you groan in frustration, let’s look on the bright side. This means your boards can rank on Google! Yes, really! Hellooooo, more chances for exposure to new clients!
Through SEO keywording, I’ve gotten our “Copywriter for Photographers” Pinterest board up to number six on Google, meaning that The Write Lens has two spots on page one for the keyword “copywriter for photographers.” You can do the same with your photography business!
Here’s the recipe:
- Make your primary keyword the exact title of your board so search engines don’t have to do any work to figure out where to list that board on Google.
- Use the keyword in a sentence in the description of the board.
- Make pins with the keyword in the title and pin them to that board.
- Keep the board active by pinning to it consistently.
Pretty soon, your Pinterest board will be taking up another spot on Google. Beautiful! Just remember, that SEO takes time. Don’t expect the board to start ranking overnight—stick to the recipe, and let the tech do its thang.
7. Repin your old pins to new boards to restart the algorithm
Pinterest prioritizes new pins. But, they also prioritize pins that are getting pinned and repinned to other boards. And while the goal is to let others do the repinning for you, you can also take an active role in this strategic step!
Repin pins that are a couple weeks or months old. This tells the algorithm to start focusing on these pins again and to promote them to new viewers. This works especially well if you have a few pins that did well a few weeks ago but have begun to slow down. By pinning them again, you’re adding fuel to the fire, getting them up and moving again. And if they did well previously, they’ll likely do even better this time around! We’ve had pins that have gotten consistently high views for many months just by repinning them about twice a month!
I like this strategy because it means the hard work I put into designing and writing the content for the pin can get reused. It doesn’t just have to be new pins that reap the algorithm benefits—it can be old pins too. So, get on that repinning game!
A word of caution: Don’t repin too excessively, or you’ll look like a spammer! Instead, repin 3-5 different pins once a week. The last thing you want is to be deprioritized because you were using too many growth tactics too close together. Repin with caution, not abandon.
There’s so much marketing goodness to be had with a solid Pinterest strategy for photographers. You just have to get it rolling!
It took about six months for me to start to see the benefits of the Pinterest work I was doing. Trust me, I was definitely a little frustrated at first. I wondered why Pinterest wasn’t pushing out my content to more of our ideal clients immediately. But, after putting these seven steps to work over the course of a couple months, I started to see monthly views reach into the hundreds of thousands on a consistent basis! It just takes time.
Remember, your photography business Pinterest strategy should look like:
- Posting consistently (whatever that means to you!)
- Posting a mix of “idea” pins and regular pins
- Following your ideal clients
- Checking closely on which pins do the best, and making more of those
- Organizing your boards with visually-appealing headers
- Optimizing your boards and pins for SEO
- Repinning old pins
Good luck, and keep an eye on our Pinterest for more tips and ideas like these!