Why Organic Pinterest Isn't Dead (And What Works) (Dorien Morin-van Dam)

Dorien Morin-van Dam

According to Pinterest, they are NOT a social media platform. Pinterest identifies itself as a “visual search engine.”

Did you know that Pinterest is a visual search engine?
Did you know that pins (and Pinterest boards) are indexed on Google?

Now that you know Pinterest is not a regular social media platform, you need to find out if you and your business still need to be on Pinterest!

When I started out as a social media professional more than 10 years ago, Pinterest was an important part of my social media strategy. At that time I was an avid blogger—I used blogging as an inbound strategy for leads. By using Pinterest, I was able to gain massive website traffic. While some of the strategies I employed way back when might still drive a bit of traffic, most of those older strategies no longer work. But no fear, Pinterest is still massively relevant for bloggers. Let me explain!

Pinterest is a place where people come to search for ideas and inspiration. Pinterest users want to be served a variety of content—both images and videos—to inspire them. Content that does really well on the Pinterest platform includes content related to DIY projects, Arts & Crafts, Interior Design, Home Improvement and Recipes—really answering anything “how to…” does well on Pinterest.

The Pinterest algorithm has changed quite a bit over the years. With the roll out of promoted pins (paid), Pinterest, like most other platforms, has made getting your content seen on Pinterest just a tad bit more challenging.

What does work on Pinterest without having to pay-to-play?

Here are three features to use to boost your organic Pinterest strategy!

Organic Pinterest features to use to increase reach

Below, find three features that give your content an organic boost to be seen. As always, test for each of your own accounts to learn what works best for your audience.

1. Idea Pins

Created with creators in mind, Idea Pins are Pinterest’s answer to TikTok and Instagram’s Stories and Reels. Idea Pins are vertical stories of original content, with the purpose to inspire and share ideas.

One Idea Pin can contain up to 20 pieces of content (vertical image or vertical video snippets). Idea Pins are searchable, and currently rank high in Pinterest’s algorithm.

From Pinterest we learn:

“You can use Idea Pins to record multiple videos, add images, lists and custom text in a single Pin. Once you’ve published at least one Idea Pin, the Pin will be displayed on your profile at the top of your Created tab along with all of your Idea Pins.”

I personally recommend you create your Idea Pins on your mobile device (vs. desktop), as it is easier to add all these pieces of content, as well as:

  • Descriptive text
  • Text overlay
  • Customize colors
  • Customize fonts
  • Tag topics

You can choose to allow people who view your Idea Pins to download the pin to their mobile device or share it to their social networks.

Idea Pins do well organically. It’s the newest type of pin on Pinterest, and the current algorithm seemingly favors this type of pin over any other type!

Test out Idea Pins for organic discoverability. Start small: an Idea Pin could be a short video with some text overlay you already created and posted to TikTok or Instagram; repurposing this content to test out Idea Pins is a great first step to using this new feature!

2. Board titles

Another way to get an organic boost to your Pinterest content is to rename your Pinterest boards. Use words like “ideas” or “inspiration” to guide Pinterest users to your boards and entice them to follow your boards.

Updating your current board titles is a simple task that can yield good results in the Pinterest search engine and allow for better organic discoverability in the Pinterest algorithm.

What does this look like?

For example, If your industry is food or recipes, perhaps your boards have names like:

  • Vegan Desserts
  • Gluten Free Cakes
  • Best Non-Fat Muffins

Consider updating these board names to:

  • Vegan Desserts Recipe Ideas
  • Gluten Free Cake Inspiration
  • Best Non-Fat Muffin Ideas To Feed Your Family

TIP: Using the same naming principle, employ this strategy when naming your pins for additional SEO juice!

3. Multiple pin strategy

Last but not least, I highly recommend using a multiple pin strategy to get your content seen. What does this strategy entail?

For each blog article, download, product, recipe: basically for any link you want to drive traffic to, you need to create multiple pins using new images*.

For example, to drive traffic to this article, you could create a set of five images with a different look/feel/colors.

Publish the five pins and analyze to see which images drove the most traffic (include at least one Idea Pin in this strategy!).

In theory, you could upload 10, 20, 50, 100+ new pins—all driving traffic to the same link!

Pay close attention to—and vary—the following:

  • Type of pin
  • Headlines
  • Colors
  • Call-to-actions
  • Original photos
  • Graphics

By close observation, and paying attention to pin analytics, you will start seeing a pattern of the types of pins your current audience likes the most. For those with a paid strategy, pull the BEST organic pins into your paid ads!

For those with an organic strategy, create more of the types of pins that did the best. Sounds simple? It is, yet this is a much-neglected part of social media strategy! To get the best out of your organic efforts, always go back and check what content did well and create more of the same.

*New images means ‘fresh pins’ aka pins that have images not previously used on Pinterest. Do not use stock photos. Instead, use images that are brand new to Pinterest. Why? Remember: Pinterest is a search engine. Therefore, old, previously used images and stock photos previously indexed by Pinterest will not do as well as new pins with new, never-before-seen images! Source new images by taking images with your mobile phone when appropriate, or by hiring a photographer for a photoshoot.

Organic social media isn’t dead

Curious about organic reach on other platforms?

I’ve got you covered.

Check out these previous articles in this series!

Organic Facebook isn’t Dead
Organic Instagram isn’t Dead
Organic LinkedIn isn’t Dead

Dorien Morin-van Dam @dorien
Organic Social Media Specialist | International Keynote Speaker | Certified Agile Marketer | Community Manager | Content Marketer #StrategyTalks :studio_microphone:

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Fabulous article as usual Dorien. I have a client who is just exploring Pinterest again so I’m interested to see how it goes trying some different posts. :grinning:

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Thanks @fiona1 ! Pinterest is overlooked by many but can be a great source of web traffic if done right. :wink:

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