The always changing Pinterest is a huge source of traffic for many bloggers. But it’s also a bit of a pain in the arse because of how MANY changes there are happening, all-the-freakin’-time. In this post, I’ll give you a brief insight in the latest Pinterest updates, for example, why your Pinterest followers matter (again).
For those who are not as familiar with the concept of Pinterest marketing, I’d suggest reading the following articles first:
- Foolproof Pinterest strategy: grow your traffic in no time (the very basics of how Pinterest functions)
- Guide to writing Pinterest-viral blog posts
But if you’ve got your Pinterest strategy all set up, read on!
As you might’ve noticed, Pinterest is always growing, improving and changing. And by always, I really mean it. While one strategy is working like a charm now, it can be crashing your whole Pinterest game within a month.
Of course, the creators of this platform are doing their best to IMPROVE. And while we might feel a bit frustrated, I do believe, it’s all for the best in the long-run.
In the past year alone there must’ve been at least two major updates, as well as various smaller experiments. As a keen Pinterest user, I follow their latest updates and dig deep into all this info, whenever anything comes up. In this post, I’ll do my best to review the latest changes and explain them in a simple manner.
Disclaimer #1: While my conclusions come from direct sources of Pinterest’s blog and social media, as well as Tailwind, their official scheduling partner, all of the opinions in this post are subjective.
Disclaimer #2: This post does include affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of my linked services, I’ll get a commission for your purchase, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for keeping this blog going!
Important Pinterest updates from late 2018
UPDATE #1: Why your Pinterest followers matter (again)
One of the most important Pinterest updates I want to talk about is WHY your Pinterest followers matter.
Since there are TONS of posts out there titled “Your followers don’t matter” or “Follower growth is not the most important metric”, the truth is, your Pinterest followers DO matter (again).
Yes, for a while, it was more important to track engagement and impressions, as well as other metrics of your Pinterest profile.
But since the algorithm has changed, again, it’s important to grow your followers and here’s why.
REASON #1 Your followers is your first audience
Once you add a new Pin, your Pinterest followers are the first people who see it. If you have no followers – your pins might not reach as big relevance on Pinterest. Which leads us to the next reason…
REASON #2 Your follower interaction with your content make or break your success
“Pinterest recently revealed that our Pins are shown to our followers first, and then, based on their engagement, the algorithm will determine how much to show it in other places on Pinterest.”
Basically, unless your direct followers see and interact with your content, you won’t have a chance of making your pins viral. Therefore, interested and active audience matters!
Work on growing your followers and showing them relevant content.
REASON #3 They’re there for a long-run
Even when Pinterest will change the algorithm again (because let’s be honest, it might not stay this way forever), you’ll still have your followers.
And while in one update they might not end up being as important, in yet another one – you’ll have to care once again.
Therefore, shoot for the long-term strategy and keep growing your followers. Slowly, consistently. But always take care of them!
UPDATE #2: What are Pinterest Communities and how can you join one?!
Pinterest Communities is a fresh-in feature (as of the end of September, 2018) AND you have to, first, add the Community tab to your account to even see it.
So what are Pinterest Communities?
It’s like a Facebook group that gathers like-minded people who can SHARE what and whenever they want. This includes text posts, links, questions. And it’s also one of the most important recent Pinterest updates.
After all, it’s a Community – it’s all about helping out, getting in the conversation, being useful and proving your credibility.
To get the access to this tab you have to, first, join your first community through phone app instead of desktop Pinterest. Click on the link on your phone and it will give you a chance to open it on either Pinterest or your browser. Choose Pinterest, join the community and you’re in!
I noticed the new community tab on both, desktop and phone, right away. But some bloggers have mentioned that their new tabs showed up only after a while (like an hour or so).
Now, when you’re in… what’s next?!
Once you get the Community tab, you can easily find communities you’d like to join.
From there on, you can start being active, showing up, helping others, sharing your posts, etc.
Don’t get too spammy tho!!
UPDATE #3: Group boards are not dead
Here’s yet another exceptionally popular belief that “group boards are a done deal”. Well… It’s not quite that easy.
But it’s true that we might need to change up the way we use them.
Long story short: instead of joining group boards that are full with random posts from different niches, it’s important to join active and relevant boards, where the added pins are as relevant to your topic as possible and cover a rather small niche.
Therefore, most of the big “All bloggers advertise here” boards are becoming irrelevant and do hurt your traffic. The easiest way to prove it is by eliminating them from your schedule for a week or two and seeing the difference.
On the other hand, boards like “Blog monetizing for small business owners” with 10 active board members pinning relevant content is helping each of these members and will contribute to your traffic.
And I’m not saying that only the small or very narrow-niched group boards will survive. No. But (!) all of the boards MUST be relevant to your content AND actually collaborate on the same topic, at least, targeting similar keywords.
If you’re following Pinterest updates and want to catch up with their algorithm, make sure to keep this in mind!
UPDATE #4: Hashtags. Yes, they’re back
In not so recent news – the hashtags really are back.
A few months ago pinners were rather hesitant – will adding hashtags be a long-term strategy? Or will it end up being just a waste of time?
The thing about hashtags is that they have a bad history. Several years ago, using hashtags on Pinterest was crucial and the only must-do many bloggers knew. Then, it all changed and hashtags became one of the worst things you could do… It hurt the traffic big time and most of the well-known pinners actually went back on their old pins to DELETE them. Imagine that hell of a work there was involved…
And now… well… hashtags, once again, are important.
They help Pinterest to actually show your content for those who are interested in each specific topic you share. It’s a way to categorize content and let that Search box do its work.
Based on what Pinterest & Tailwind have shared – the best strategy is to use up to 20 highly relevant hashtags per pin. There are some rumors that only first 4-5 really count while the rest is just a background. I can’t really comment on that but I do have a tendency to put the most relevant hashtags first and then adding just several more.
A few more tips before you go
- Pin your new pins to ALL the relevant boards but start with the most relevant first. “Each time you save to a new relevant board, you’re giving Pinterest more context to explain the Pin, which helps Pinterest show the Pin to people who are likely to engage.” As you can read on Tailwind.
- Repin your old posts with new images. Create brand-aligned pins for this cause.
- For new repins, create new descriptions and use new hashtags – it will be easier to reach a bigger audience!
- Make sure to check out which of these Pinterest mistakes you might be making!
- Get custom created pin graphics to stand out and drive more leads!
Always spend some time actually checking out any of the changes from trustful sources, for example, Pinterest or Tailwind blog. While often bloggers provide useful and actionable information on how to improve your Pinterest strategy, it can also end up being misleading.