Exploring the New and Lesser Known Pinterest Features

In this episode, Angie and April discuss their experience with the lesser known features on Pinterest.

Exploring the New and Lesser Known Pinterest Features

 
 
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Today we are going to dive into Pinterest features that are either newer or ones that many people don’t seem to know about.  We’d love to hear in our Facebook Mastermind group www.growwithusmastermind.com what’s been working for you and what hasn’t on Pinterest. There has been lots of chatter recently about some of these features. If you haven’t already, join our group to find the support and accountability you need to grow your TpT business. 

But, before we jump into out talk on Pinterest we have some exciting news to share—we’re going to presenting at the TpT conference this summer in Austin, Texas! We will be offering a workshop at two different times on the final day of the conference where we will be doing a 30-day blogging challenge. We are going to focus on helping you get organized and ready to go with your blog. So, look for us in July! Now on to Pinterest…

Pinterest features for your TpT business

Today, we’re getting into a lot of Pinterest features that are either fairly new or ones that just don’t get a lot of attention.

DISCLAIMER: We haven’t personally used every single one of these options. We have tested some, but there’s always more testing that could be done. We’re giving you our opinions, but it’s important that you do testing for your TpT business to see what works best for you. 

Promoted pins

Last year we did a podcast episode on the One-Tap Ads when they first came out. During that conversation, we shared our initial thoughts along with some tips about making sure your pin showed all the details. Now, six months later, we have some updates.

We’ve found that the things they were telling us in the beginning, weren’t necessarily true. When we did exactly what our Pinterest advisor shared we found that either no one was seeing our ads or the wrong people were seeing them. Either way, it’s not what you want.

Here are two things we’ve found that haven’t worked for us:

  • Limiting our keywords too much – On the advice that we heard about keywords last year, we tried cutting down on the number that we used. I tried keeping it closer to 15 and it was still running on my maximum budget. This wasn’t effective. When we boosted our keywords back up to 20-30 per pin we started to see more traction again.
  • Allowing Pinterest to Expand our keywords – There is an option to allow Pinterest to expand on your keywords for you. Angie shared some eye-opening information with me on this one. When she allowed Pinterest to expand her words they included things that weren’t really the best fit. So, she was paying to show up in places where people weren’t really looking for what she had to offer. She was better off doing the research herself and not allowing Pinterest to add keywords for her.

One tip that Angie shares when it comes to keywords is that you should be going back and revieiwing which keywords are performing well for you. If you have keywords that aren’t converting than delete them to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Long pins

We’ve been warned that Pinterest wants pins to use a 2:3 ratio. In our tests, we’ve found that our long pins are still performing very well, even better than the new pins we created at the specified ratio for the same products.

Now, we can’t be 100% sure that these long pins aren’t performing better becaue they have already been run and had activity on them, or if it’s the longer size that draws more attention. But, I did notice that on mobile feed my long pins are getting cut off at the bottom. It appears they are still longer than the 2:3 ratio, but it’s cutting off some of the important information I had at the bottom of the pin like the grade level. However, even with that, they are still performing very well.

Communities feature

The Communities feature on Pinterest seems to be similar to Facebook groups. However, we aren’t sold on this feature just yet. To be honest, I’ve not heard of anyone really using communities. They sound like they could be good, but it doesn’t appear that they’ve taken off.

Back when they first started with this feature I created one just to play around. I would love to hear of a TpT’er that has gotten in there and gotten teachers on board. I didn’t go that far in my efforts and would love to hear what the results are.

To me, the feature didn’t seem to be super intuitive, so it’s on the back burner unless I hear more about it that makes me want to invest my time into it.

Group Boards

Both Angie and I use group boards a lot! We’ve found them to be great for getting organic traffic. They help to get your pins out there more and to reach a larger audience if you’re in an active group with members that have large followings.

Personally, about 20% of my pins are going on group boards and 80% on my personal boards. I feel that I get good traction from my groups. However, if there is a board that’s not performing well for you, then you should delete it because it isn’t worth your time and effort.

In Tailwind I’ll look at the Board Insights to check on how my group pins are doing. But, if you don’t use Tailwind you can manually check your boards to see if you are getting repins. Make sure to wait a few days to get accurate analytics.

Here are a couple more tips for getting good traction from group boards:

Only pin high-quality content on group boards. These are a great place to put pins to your blog posts, don’t just use pins for your products.

Join niche boards. Your pins will be a lot more effective on niche boards where the other members have audiences that are similar to yours. These boards also make it faster to find what you’re looking for since you don’t have to sort through all the rest of it. Look for boards that match your niche instead of K-12 type boards.

Only repin things that make sense for your followers. Don’t be part of a group where you find yourself repinning things that won’t benefit your audience.

Pin SEO

When it comes to SEO for pins you want to try to add in keywords that you think people will be searching for. You can check keywords by typing them into the dropdown menu to see if other people are searching for it. During our podcast, Angie mentioned that she’s noticed that her SEO has improved since starting to do that.

Now, I’m pretty good at making sure that my SEO is good when pinning something that will go to my TpT store, but struggle when it comes to the SEO that is pulled over from my blog posts. I know that if someone pins from one of my blog posts the content that’s being shared is high-quality, but I also know not all of the keywords that I would want to be shared are going with it. I have a lot of people that pin from my blog so it’s one of my goals this year to go back and figure out how to get these descriptions just right when they pin from my site.

Improving SEO

It’s been a while since I used Blogger so I can’t really help you out with how to improve the SEO of your pins that pull from there when someone pins an image. However, a quick Google search will help you out.

Now, when it comes to WordPress there are several different plugins that are available. I’ve been working to find the right combination, but I’m not quite there yet. So far, the best that I’ve been able to find is Tasty Pins. It allows me to set a hidden image that will be used anytime someone pins my blog post.

The one problem is Tasty Pins doesn’t seem to work well with social sharing plugins. If you know of a one that works well with it please let me know!

Carousel pins

With carousel pins, you can use several images in your pin instead of having to choose just one. I made one of these in the late fall to try it out and ran it along with a standard pin next to it. They spent about the same budget and got the same results even though the carousel one took me about 30 extra minutes to create. Angie has had the same results as well.

The one thing I found to be a problem with these pins is that there isn’t really an easy way for people to see that they can swipe for more images. Facebook has carousel ads as well, but you can see the edges of the next image so you know that you can keep swiping to see more.

Angie and I think this could be a good thing if they add in a swipe arrow or something to let people know there’s more. I really think these are cool pins, but until they find a way to let people know what they are I’m going to hold off on using them. In my opinion, it’s just not worth the extra time at this point.

Tagging products on pins

Last month I was testing out the ability to tag products on pins but I forgot to use the UTM links so I didn’t really have a way to track if they were being clicked. However, I really like this feature.

If you hover your mouse over the pin there is a little tag that will show up in the corner. Then you can tag a link on one of your pins. However, you can’t tag a pin that goes to TpT, it has to be to your own verified website. So, for example, if you have a blog post about close reading you could tag a product that you have about close reading on TpT. You can add multiple products and put in a link for TpT along with images.

I did about 15 pins and found that there were some glitches. Two of the tags wouldn’t pull the image properly from the product. But, the ones that did, looked really cool. Underneath the pin, it showed the attached products. I haven’t tried this in a promoted pin yet, but am curious to see if it will keep the tagged products with it. I don’t have any data off the ones that I’ve tried yet, but I definitely think it’s worth playing around with and testing.

Hashtags

I’ve had some good luck with hashtags when using one or two that are really focused. I’ve even used them on my promoted pins and they do really well. However, using really general hashtags isn’t as beneficial. Examples of pins that I would use include things like:

  • #4thgrade
  • #5thgradereading
  • #interactivenotebook
  • #closereading

Since I only use a couple it doesn’t take long to pick ones that work. From what I can see not everyone is using them right now, but I think this has the potential to grow, and then you’ll really benefit from already having hashtags on your pins. And, they’re great for SEO.

Following tab

Another feature that Pinterest offers is the Following Tab. This is a way to look at the recent pins of only the people you are following. It shows the person’s information like their icon and the name of their account along with a pin. You can click on either the pin or the account.

I’ve heard that it shows the last five pins on the account, but they don’t show all grouped together. You have to keep scrolling in order to see the rest. It makes me wonder if there is something specific we should be doing to make sure that we are showing up in this feed for anyone that is following us, other than posting daily. If you have tips on how to make sure you show up in here please comment and let us know.

Scheduling

Angie and I haven’t used this feature because we use TailWind. However, after checking it out it looks incredibly similar to the Facebook scheduling option. If you aren’t ready to pay for a scheduler this is a good option to use to help you batch your work.

Keep the conversation going

There is a ton of new stuff on Pinterest and a lot to think about beyond just adding a pin. There are so many things to try out. Join us in the mastermind group and let us know what’s working for you with all these new features. What’s helping you? What problems have you encountered? And, what questions do you have?

Written by April Smith

April runs her business Performing in Education, LLC full time. Her main focus is on her Teachers Pay Teacher store, but she also has an online course for teachers and has written a book on project-based learning!