Friday, January 15, 2016

There is something about Pinterest… or: how to make the most of your Pinterest Boards

I have reached 10,000 followers on Pinterest, and since this is one of my favourite social media (after this blog, of course!) I would like to share a few experiences and, hopefully, tips.

First of all I often read some advice from Social media 'experts' who say to differentiate, have unique boards, bla bla bla… not true in my experience! These six below are my most popular boards, and I can see that, no matter what, since the majority of pinners are women my age, flowers, cats and cupcakes still rule, together with popular food trends like Vegan food or eating flowers (in fact I have seen more interest in this Cooking with Flowers blog - much of it directed by Pinterest, in the past few months). Another popular board is a collective board that I have created for Props for Food Photography, it doesn't have many members but it does gets followers because it is… pretty?

And after the top 6 there are more animals and food! Butterflies and horses are very 'feminine' pins, more sweet things (and I think that often we feel content just at looking at pretty photos of cakes and macaroons), food trends like raw cuisine, gluten free, and words like Italian, Vegetarian and Pasta are bound to be winners, so my combined board does well even if it doesn't have as many pins as most of the others boards (need to work on this!). Photographic background for food, styling ideas and props is another popular one, and a great inspiration, plus I can put in there all the beautiful photos that I like but don't quite fit in my other boards.

Since I have over 120 boards I guess that some visitors often stop at the top, so keeping the most popular boards in a good top position makes sense, but also moving up theme boards during the year works well. I have just moved down the Christmas board, and substitute it with the Hearts board, thinking of St Valentine next month. Then Easter will come round, so I will make another change. Moving boards also keeps me interested, and that is the most important thing: Social Media work better if you like doing it!

So where do my pins come from? Many form my blog and many form other pinners, especially the pinners I follow. And this is the good part: I don't follow many pinners, I heard that the more people you follow the more followers you will get, but I tend to get overwhelmed by my home feed as it is, especially from the community boards. I don't want to give up the community boards, since they are mostly about food and they send lots of visitors back to my blog.

But I think that this year I will seek out a few more pinners to follow, I often seek them out among my own followers, thinking that we may like the same things.

A few pins come from my Tumblr and Instagram accounts, and I still feel uncomfortable pinning too much around the net, unless a site specifically invites readers to pin.

So, what are the most popular pins? Difficult to say since some go round the block a lot, but looking at the statistics from this blog I can say, more or less, what are the posts that get more hits directly from Pinterest:

This is probably the winner:

baked halloumi rolls

I am surprised since the photo is not that great and yet, when I tried to trace it, it has been pinned over and over again thousands of times now! I admit that I do love this recipe, which is more of an idea (of mine) rather than a recipe, and I think that simplicity was what won the top pin title here.

Season does play a part, and for the month of December most Pinterest visits came to this:

Home Made Marzipan Sweets

However, this particular post is also a popular Pinterest-driven hit all year round, possibly because it is sweet, raw, gluten free and vegan!

The same thing applies to this pin:

Home Made Marzipan Sweets

Again sweet, vegan and gluten free (albeit not raw this time) and pink with flowers too! But I think that the words Home Made are also good, there is a lot of craft and home made stuff on Pinterest!

In line with the 'home made' we have this other very popular pin…. 

How to Make a Rose Liqueur

… which makes me think that sweet, vegan, gluten free AND PINK are all good 'pins', together with the how to make, of course...

… and perhaps mason jars too? This is another favourite (both images in fact).

Picking, treating and preserving olives in brine, and olives marinated in olive oil and herbs

and I have to say that all the jams and preserves do well on Pinterest (home made factor again…).

Healthy food, especially raw juices and smoothies, are popular, this is my most visited (and it is not even my favourite!), plus was picked up on Pinterest by a raw vegan site as one of their top 10 smoothies, so hits now come from that site as well.

The joy of free feijoas, and feijoa smoothie

I could continue because there are so many more pins that work for getting visits, but I think that you got the idea now: these are the sort of topics that work for me in this particular media, and maybe they could work for you too, if you write recipes. I have just now upgraded my Pinterest Account for business to access the analytics, so maybe in a few months I can have even more insights to share.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

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