Pinterest Boards: Making Them Work for You

Summary: Establishing the correct Pinterest boards for your organization is critical for a successful Pinterest presence. Did you know you can use secret boards, as well as community and staging boards, to maximize your engagement and management efforts? This post offers tips for managing Pinterest boards to organize and share content efficiently and effectively. As always, additional tips are welcome. (from the Denovati SMART Blog)

Author: Sean Pearson

In late 2012 we performed an inventory and restructuring of our presence on Pinterest. We then published two S.M.A.R.T. Blog posts about how our presence was evolving and the lessons we learned along the way. This is the second of those two posts, which has been updated to reflect our current engagement and refined lessons.

In 9 Pinterest Pointers for Organizations, we described how we established a presence on Pinterest in mid-2012 after realizing some of our original content was being shared by others on the platform. Since then we’ve come to view it as a vital part of our overall digital portfolio and engagement. To help other organizations leverage Pinterest more effectively, we’re committed to sharing updates on how our presence is evolving and the lessons we’ve learned along the way, as well as best practices tips. The Pinterest Pointers piece is the first in a series of three posts from our old blog that we’re updating and republishing here. In the second post, Pinterest Optimization: The Value of a Pinventory, I share recommendations on how to optimize boards by creating a (what else!) pinventory. In this post, I provide further board optimization guidance by offering tips to manage Pinterest boards and their content.

Our goal with these posts is to inspire you think about how you can use Pinterest not just for fun, but for work too. We hope our pins – and our progress – provide some “pinspiration” for your own boards. If you’d like to stay abreast of our Pinterest updates, please follow our Pinterest Resources board. You can also subscribe to the Denovati SMART Blog to receive other great Denovati content.

And as always we welcome feedback and other great examples of how individuals and organizations are leveraging Pinterest in professionally-oriented ways.

Pinterest Boards: General Management

Board/Pin Balance. Finding the right board/pin balance is tricky. Too many boards and too many pins are both overwhelming for folks. Develop a strategy that makes sense based on your organization and its goals and objectives, as well as the interests of your target audience(s). Remember that, especially initially, less is more. And since your total boards and total pins will increase over time, you should be prepared to tweak this balance as your Pinterest presence evolves.

Naming Boards. Board names should be broad, while capturing the essence of the content. Two key points to remember:

  • Keep your board name to 24 characters or fewer, so the name displayed on the main board page won’t be truncated.
  • Occasionally you’ll realize you need to change the name of a board. When you do, remember that board URLs include the specific board name, so changing the name will break all links to that board. Therefore, it’s a good idea to track where you reference specific boards (e.g., in a blog post) so the links can be updated when the URLs change.

Note: Pin URLs aren’t uniquely associated with your account and don’t change, so you can move them between boards without worrying about breaking their links.

Board Order. Plan your board order so that your most important boards are in the top row, as it will be the first row that users see when they visit your board page (with the board in the center being the most prominent). It’s probably a good idea to record the layout you create (e.g., in your Pinventory), so you can refer to it if the order should accidentally change.

Pinterest Boards: Content Management

Secret Boards. Secret boards only appear to the owner of the account and anyone invited to pin to them, and items pinned to secret boards do not show up on any activity feed. For organizations, secret boards can be very useful for checking pins and establishing a pinning queue. We recommend creating boards like Pins to Check and Posting Queue, along with these tips:

  • If you have multiple people using your account to add content to your Pinterest boards, one person should be responsible for overall management (including managing your Pinventory) and should be the only person to post directly to the public boards. Everyone else should post to the secret boards.
  • Other pinners should feel free to include a recommended description for a pin, as well as a suggested board for the pin to go to. To ensure visibility of the recommended board, we include its name in [] at the beginning of the description. The Pinterest manager deletes the recommendation before moving the item from the secret boards to the public boards.
  • From the Pins to Check board, the Pinterest manager should verify the pins are not duplicates, establish their provenance (i.e., trace them to their original source), and edit the captions as needed. Then they should add the pin to the Pinventory and move it to the Posting Queue.
  • To ensure a steady stream of activity, periodically move content from the Posting Queue to the relevant public boards. When you move a pin from a secret board to a public board, it will show up in your pin feed as if it was just pinned so no one will know how long it’s been in the queue.

Note: A note of caution on using secret boards. If you repin an image from another Pinner into a secret board, they will not get an email notification. To ensure that they are aware of this engagement, when you’re ready to move the pin out of your secret board, you’ll want to post the pin as if it’s “new” while retaining the edits you made to your copy.

Community Board(s). Community boards are a great way to establish a place for anyone in your community to engage with you. Take the opportunity to invite like minded people to pin to a community board. Community boards are not without risks, however: there is a strong possibility for duplicate content, for example, as well as pins that are off topic, poor quality, and/or of dubious origins. Here are some tips:

  • To make it easier to control content posted to your Pinterest boards by others, you may want to consider having only one community board.
  • Keep your community board clean by deleting duplicates, removing inappropriate pins, etc.
  • Pins you want to keep can be kept in the community board or relocated to one of your focused boards. Note: Since you can’t technically move the pin, you’ll have to repost the pin as if it’s “new,” being sure to give credit to the person who shared it with you.
  • To ensure that your community board grows steadily try recruiting several Pinners dedicated to pinning two or three items a week. Also, in the board description encourage others to request to join the board.

Note: Community boards are not for everyone. After several months of having a community board we discontinued ours as there was little activity and the pins we were receiving did not match our focus.

Staging Boards. You may have content that fits into multiple boards but is popular in its own right (e.g., infographics). A good way to manage that content is to create a staging board where all content of that type goes initially, which allows followers to see the pins before they get sorted. After a period of time (e.g., a week), you can move the pins to their final home (and update the Pinventory!).

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