On April 23rd, Tailwind’s Content Marketing Manager, Alisa Meredith, interviewed one of Pinterest’s Product Marketing Managers, Sarah Hoople Shere. In this interview, Sarah answers the top frequently asked questions about Pinterest’s recent updates including algorithm changes and feature roll outs! All content in this post comes from the interview and I highly recommend you watch this Pinterest interview in your spare time.
I decided to put much of this interview in writing for busy bloggers who cannot take the time to watch 1 1/2 hours of video. Keeping up with Pinterest is extremely important as Pinterest accounts for the majority of bloggers’ traffic!
Pinterest FAQ List:
Click on a question to jump to the official Pinterest answer!
- Does it matter when I pin?
- How many times a day should I pin? Is there any such thing as too many pins per day?
- What is the importance of our first 5 Pins?
- Are photos and comments left a factor in search?
- How to Get Pins Show Up in Smartfeed
- What happens to those who change their Pinning habits?
- Should we delete underperforming Pins?
- Do backlinks to boards or Pins matter?
- Where should we use our keywords?
- Do the keywords in our profile and the keywords in our board descriptions help the individual Pins perform better?
- Does it matter what you name your image that’s on the site that you’re going to Pin?
- Why should we be adding our content when it’s fresh?
- What is ‘fresh’ content?
- Does it matter if your Pin image is on the landing page it links to?
- Is there a smartfeed advantage to Pinning live exclusively or even just a little during the week versus using an approved scheduler?
- Is there any advantage to repinning rather than Pinning a new Pin?
Please understand that any notes labelled as “My Takeaway” are my own interpretations and will be clearly distinguished from Pinterest’s official, quoted answers!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
Watch The Live Interview Between Tailwind and Pinterest
If you are one of my awesome email subscribers, you may wonder by now why I talk about Pinterest SO often. Well, when 85% of my traffic currently comes from Pinterest, you better believe I am going to share the secrets I’ve learned! So if you have not joined Pinterest yet and you’re still working on growing your blog’s traffic, get on Pinterest now (join here)!
My Pinterest analytics skyrocketed from 8,500 to more than 100,000 average monthly viewers in about one month’s time! This is all thanks to Carly’s manual pinning strategy, which I highly recommend for those who are not ready to invest in paid scheduling tools.
Now on to the good stuff! Let’s talk about Tailwind’s interview with Pinterest.
Pinterest Interviewed by Tailwind
This is the format I will be following:
Q: Asked by Alisa Meredith, Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind
A: Answered by Sarah Hoople Shere, Product Marketing Manager at Pinterest
1 – 3 paragraphs summarizing conversation and clarifications.
My Takeaway: My final interpretation on how to take action or implement this answer.
Getting Found on Pinterest – Pinterest SEO
A: “Time of day does not matter from our perspective but do think about the first several pins that you’re saving each day…”
After the launch of the following tab, we may start to see a trend during a specific time of day that people interact with your pins. In this tab, your content will be distributed in real time to those following you! That said, Pinterest does not give preference to those who pin at a certain time of day. Instead, it depends on when your target audience is online and interacting with your pins that truly matters.
My Takeaway: Learn when your audience is active on Pinterest and get YOUR pins in front of them at that time of day!
A: “There’s definitely no such thing as pinning too much… I will say we prefer consistency to volume.”
It is better to pin a similar number of pins per day (even if the number is low), than to pin 70+ on the weekend and none during the week! Try to spread out your pinning on daily basis.
The important thing to remember is not to spam your followers. Now that Pinterest has the following tab, all pins will be visible in the same order that you pin them. If you pin loads of your own duplicate pins at once, this will look spammy to your followers!
My Takeaway: Pin your own Pins liberally, but space them out, especially if they are duplicate Pins being saved to multiple group boards.
Sarah with Pinterest says, “We show the first five pins from someone that you follow.” These “first five” are those pinned after midnight UTC. Click here to find out what time this equates to in your time zone!
Keep in mind that these first five pins are not the only pins that will be seen by your followers throughout the day. More will be shown after your followers have seen other people’s pins. This is Pinterest’s way of breaking up the feeds so that not too many of one person’s pins are shown at one time.
This is where we need to be cautious of pinning too many Pins in a short time period. A follower may see much more than just your first five pins if no one else that she is following is Pinning in this short time period. This will start to look spammy if followers are only seeing your Pins in their feed.
Try to space out your pins throughout the day rather than pinning 50+ in a short time period and then coming back 24 hours later to start again.
Even if a follower does not come online at midnight UTC, according to Pitnerest, she will still see those first five that you pinned! Make sure those first five are your Pins.
My Takeaway: The number of Pins prioritized is “around” five (Pinterest is still “experimenting with the algorithm”) so consider saving 5-10 of your own first after midnight UTC!
My Takeaway: Consider creating multiple unbranded Pin images for your blog posts (along with your branded images). This way if you are accidentally “spamming” a follower’s feed, they won’t feel spammed if the Pins look diverse.
You do not need to Pin 100 Pins per day in order to be successful on Pinterest! In fact, Pinning too many per day could lead to many Pins going unseen by your followers. It’s far better to Pin consistently than to Pin in bulk.
A: “We’ve made the comments universal across all instances of a given pin.”
We will now see the same comments on all Pins. Before, despite being the exact same image, different Pin URLs were treated as unique Pins. Pinterest is now working to unify Pins despite the separate URL, which in turn will ensure that all comments show up on all instances of that Pin!
Pinterest believes that this has and will continue to increase engagement such as comments and “tries” across the board.
The “tries” now require a photo which gives the response credibility.
A: “When you save a Pin on Pinterest, we distribute it to your followers first.”
Distributing to followers first allows Pinterest to gauge our followers’ interaction and pinpoint which Pins are popular. The following tab allows us to get our content in front of our immediate audience much sooner than before and this helps Pinterest “rate” our Pins for future distribution.
In order to get your pins to go beyond your immediate audience (followers), make sure that they are engaging for your specific audience! Your followers’ saves and engagements are invaluable as they tell Pinterest that your Pin is worth showing to more people.
Make sure to use SEO best practices when pinning your content because it helps Pinterest distribute your pins to the proper audience. Keywords will help get your content in front of other Pinners!
My Takeaway: Followers are important for “instant” traffic to a new blog post from Pinterest. But Pinterest SEO is more important and will kick in later (possibly months!) to provide even better traffic in the long run.
Q: “What happens to those who change their Pinning habits? For example, originally started with one type of content but now they are pinning something else?”
A: “What we would suggest is leaning into the content that’s basically resonating with your audience.”
Pinterest analytics will show your best content and best performing boards. This is the type of content that your audience wants to see!
If your business has evolved, then do start to Pin the new content to be consistent with your business. Pinterest will find the right kind of followers who will enjoy your new content.
It is not necessary to start a new Pinterest profile from scratch just because you started by Pinning one type of content and now will Pin a new type of content. Pinterest helps with content distribution and in time, your content will get in front of the right audience.
My Takeaway: Don’t start a new Pinterest account from scratch just because you’ve changed your niche! Re-purpose your boards and move forward.
A: “No… We don’t recommend deleting pins.”
Pins that are not performing well or not receiving as much engagement as others will not hurt the performance of your other Pins! According to Sarah, “one dud pin, for example, might have a hard time itself, but it’s not going to bring the rest of your Pins down.”
Keep in mind that underperforming Pins could potentially become popular in the future, so deleting them only ruins the chance of this ever happening! It’s more important to spend your time reviewing your account’s analytics to pinpoint what type of Pins are working well for your audience.
My Takeaway: Don’t waste time deleting hundreds (maybe thousands) of Pins when you can be focusing on Pinning better, more relevant Pins for your audience.
A: “They do not.”
Pinterest looks at the content that the Pin links to and uses that to gauge the value of your Pin. Outside backlinks to your Pins do not matter.
A: “The most important place to add keywords first and foremost is in your Pin descriptions.”
Think about it from your target audience’s point of view. What words are they searching for to find your content? Use those keywords!
Keywords can be about the content itself or anything that is related to that Pin. For example, use the name of your yummy recipe and the type of dinner it goes with (“fancy dinner side” or “weeknight dinner recipe”).
My Takeaway: Pinterest keywords can be broad, so make sure to use keyword rich descriptions!
Q: “Do the keywords in our profile and the keywords in our board descriptions help the individual Pins perform better?”
A: “They do.”
The description of the first board your Pin a new Pin to helps categorize your Pin on all of Pinterest. This new Pin will now bring the data of this first board with it as you save it to other boards!
Takeaway: Always save your new Pins to the board (preferably your own board) that has the most relevant keywords in the title and description.
A: “It does not.”
The file name of your image does not matter, but your Pin’s description should include the same keywords as your blog’s title and content. Pinterest is working to ensure that Pins match their landing page, and keyword matching is crucial for Pin performance.
A: “Well we know that Pinners love fresh content.”
Hashtags filter content by most recent, and Pinterest is testing and finding that Pinners love to see new, fresh content in this area. The following tab also allows us to quickly get our content in front of our readers.
Q: “What is ‘fresh’? Is it fresh because I just saved the Pin,… created the blog post,… [or] it’s a second image I’ve made for an old blog post?”
A: “Our favorite type of fresh content is brand new content in the world… so it’s a blog post that you just wrote. But those other categories count as well.”
My Takeaway: Creating new Pin images for old blog posts count as “fresh content” on Pinterest and Pinterest prioritizes these Pins in distribution!
A: “It doesn’t have to be the exact image. The image of your Pin does not need to be a mirror image of anything on your landing page.”
It is not about the image itself. It is about the relevance and content of the image. The most important thing to remember is that the Pin image description matches the title of the blog post it links to.
My Takeaway: Pins must match their content in wording but not in imagery. Blog images should be relevant but do not need to be exact matches to the Pin image.
Q: “Is there a smartfeed advantage to Pinning live exclusively or even just a little during the week versus using an approved scheduler?”
A: “No. We don’t penalize Pinners who Pin via scheduler or any kind of third party tool.”
We should, however, be logging into our accounts periodically to keep up-to-date with our audience and with new Pinterest features. Sarah confirms that “there is definitely no distribution priority given to Pins that are saved natively in Pinterest versus through a third party tool.”
My Takeaway: Schedulers are perfectly fine to use!
A: “As the content creator, it’s best for you to save a fresh version of [your new Pin].
Pinterest prioritizes Pins that have been created by the owner of the website that the Pin is linking to! So repinning a Pin that has been saved by another person from your website is not as beneficial as repinning (or Pinning new) from your own, claimed website.
When you Pin fresh content from your own website, Pinterest gives distribution priority to that Pin. Pinterest understands that you are the creator and will be giving it the most relevant Pin description and hashtags.
Sarah believes that when a follower either repins your Pin or Pins that Pin directly from your blog, it is given the same priority. Pinterest is still experimenting with their algorithm changes but feels that both instances tell them that the content is valuable.
My Takeaway: Pinterest is “still experimenting” with how their algorithm treats repins and Pins saved directly from your blog post. So, we should be experimenting too!
Because this live interview is long, I’ve decided to cut it into two blog posts. You can read Part 2: Tailwind’s Interview With Pinterest here! My end point for part 1 on the live video is 30:10 (minute marker).
My Final Takeaway of this portion of The Pinterest Interview
I think it’s clear that Pinterest is still working through some bugs, rolling out new updates and experimenting with changes even now. This tells us that even Pinterest does not always know what to expect when using the Platform! Because of this, it is more important than ever to be vigilant and do our own research and testing. Every target audience is different and will respond differently to certain activities and strategies, so that is what we need to remember when using Pinterest for business.
I chose to invest in my blog and purchase a Pinterest strategy that works for me! If you are struggling with your Pinterest reach like I was, consider following a strategy that works. Get it now, you won’t regret it!
Let me know what you thought of this interview with Pinterest in the comments! I would love to know how you translated certain FAQ answers and how you think we can use this information to better our Pinterest reach!
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Part 2: Tailwind’s Interview With Pinterest
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