Every Friday I answer questions about how to best use Pinterest for business. This week’s question comes from Sarah,
“Do I need to follow most of the people who follow me in order to get more followers? I tried this on Instagram last week and it worked really well. Seems to be a gratuitous exchange. Perhaps this is an etiquette that I missed with Pinterest?”
I’ve heard several opinions on this matter but never anything definitive. I’ll give you the Simple Pin experience and you can test it out on your account to evaluate results.
Before the switch to Smart Feed, following others was a way to fill up your feed with your friend’s pins. It was a mish-mash of their interests and future creative ventures. During that time you were cautious with who you followed because if your college roommate was pinning 30 cat pins per day your feed got boring real fast. On the flip side, you could also find out which one of your friends was pregnant based on her newly pinned nursery pins. Whoops! She forgot to use her secret board.
Fast forward to the switch to Smart Feed and we’re now being funneled into following interests instead of people. You still may see your friends pins but it’s not as often. Pinterest is now giving you more of what you’re searching for or what interests you. Following other people has taken a back seat.
However, we still see some value in following other pinners. This increases your exposure by giving them a notification that you followed them and hopefully they follow you back. Two of our accounts have hired someone to follow 10+ accounts per day. Both of those accounts are growing at a very healthy rate — follower numbers and page views.
That being said, I can’t say for certain that is the only factor in the growth of their account as we have other accounts that are growing at healthy rates as well. Images, reader base, and content play a larger role.
I know there are programs you can buy that will auto-follow other accounts but I would be really cautious with these services. If you end up following a spam account or one that sends out adult content you may have your account suspended or open up your account to find lots of bare skin. Neither of which I would take a gamble on.
Followers vs. Page Views
As we’re seeing this funnel into interests I’m focusing less on follower growth and more on page views. You can gain a ton of followers every month and see very little clicks to your site. I’m looking for the traffic. If a large account only gains 1% growth in followers but 50% growth in page views in a month, I’ll take the page views.
Don’t put all your eggs in the follower basket. Evaluate the overall health of the account by taking a deep dive into your Google analytics to find out what posts Pinterest users love. And while you’re on Pinterest, give a few people some follower love. It can’t hurt to test it out.
**If you’re looking for a great way to boost your followers from the traffic coming to your site, try out Milotree. I’ve added it to my site and have seen great results in growth.