Today we’re talking about what it means to be a Pinterest creator.
Pinterest has been using this term more frequently this past year, but what does it mean? It seems to be evolving and changing at the same time Pinterest is changing.
I’m diving in with Tabby, the social media manager here at Simple Pin, to share what she’s learned from managing client Pinterest accounts, the Simple Pin Media account, and investing in the Creator’s Forum inside the Pinterest Business Community (PBC).
But first, did you know Simple Pin offers an extensive list of organic and paid Pinterest Management Services including one-time services like account cleanups and one-hour targeted consult calls based on your business industry?
Our services leverage eight years of Pinterest management experience backed by data to bring you the latest tactics, best practices, and diversification on Pinterest. Using our signature Simple Pin Framework, we’ll help you reach your ideal customer.
Our Discovery call team is ready to meet with you to learn all about your business goals and guide you toward the service that will be the best fit for you.
Let’s share our perspectives of what it means to be a Pinterest Creator in 2021.
What does it mean to be a pinterEst creator?
Let’s define what the term Creator means to us here at Simple Pin Media.
I believe a creator is anyone on Pinterest using the platform to market their business. A Creator is someone putting their creative content or products on Pinterest to increase their reach and awareness for their brand.
I love how Tabby’s definition (below) takes it up to a more personal notch.
Tabby defines creator as everyone Simple Pin Media speaks to and that includes:
- podcast listeners
- our blog readers
using Pinterest to market their content (product sellers, teachers, bloggers, etc.).
This year, Pinterest has really focused on this term Creator and we want to unpack how they are using that term.
Pinterest used to talk a lot about the pinner. When I would talk to someone at Pinterest they would always say “we serve the pinner first.” The focus was always on how to give the pinner a good experience.
Although the term Creator was used, it wasn’t as prevalent or forward-facing as it is now.
Words or phrases like Pinterest Creator Program, creator platform, and creator monetization are becoming more front and center, which signals the shift we have seen in 2021.
Tabby explains the difference is that Pinterest is now speaking to creators in a way that indicates they want them to be more present on the platform. Pinterest hasn’t asked creators to stay on the platform in order to increase engagement in the past. But that is the direction that Pinterest is heading in now.
The platform seems to be evolving its marketing strategy. When you go to their website and read about Pinterest for creators, the main themes include:
• audience insights and trends
• getting discovered by pinners who are hungry for ideas
• building community with people who share your passions
• bringing your Pinterest profile front and center
• creating idea pins.
When you look at what other platforms have done, Pinterest has a unique challenge — to find a way to keep creators and Pinners around. This is not something we’ve been used to doing.
Pinterest has always been a place where you go to, save an idea, then visit the site.
Tabby says she’s heard many people comment about how Pinterest is trying to be Instagram or TikTok. While we can see a little bit of that, she believes even though they are asking for more of your presence on Pinterest (namely with idea pins) it’s still not about you in the way that it is on Instagram or TikTok.
Pinterest is still wanting creators to provide their pinners with ideas and solutions rather than talk all about your experiences.
I think Pinterest is still saying that people don’t want the content to be about you as the creator. They want it to be about the things that will help them.
Tabby says Pinterest still wants you to offer creative, workable content for the pinner to go and do. That means your audience is still going to find you and go to your website to follow through on the things that inspire and inform them.
I agree with Tabby.
If you haven’t listened to episode #252 you really should. My friend Beth talks about the huge benefits in terms of audience growth and increased revenue she has seen with this new direction on the platform.
She has embraced the short-form video format and idea pins as a way to show her audience how to create something. As a result, many people are coming back to her website, posting pictures of what they’ve created after viewing her recipes, and then engaging in authentic conversation with her.
I want to take a moment to address those of you who have been a creator and a marketer on the platform for a while. I want to acknowledge that this is a big shift for you and we know the constant change is frustrating.
No doubt you’ve heard the saying that death and taxes are the only certain things in life. I would add a third– the fact that any social media platform will change every six months.
We would like to provide leadership and guidance through this change. We want to help you embrace what this new version of being a creator looks like without sacrificing your time or your business focus.
We want to help you use Pinterest most effectively so that you can continue to grow your business. After all, that’s why we have these tools.
Let’s jump into this next layer of the requirements and benefits of being a Creator on Pinterest.
Pinterest Creator Requirements (& Benefits!)
Pinterest has a forum that you can join– the Pinterest Business Community (PBC) and it’s for everybody who has a business account on Pinterest.
The PBC has several sections:
- Discover – community basics
- Product Support – support and questions
- Lounge – a place to chat with other businesses, creators, and developers
- Creator Hubs – geographical communities; membership by invitation only
- Resources – policies, support for account problems, tools, etc.
Simple Pin Media (Tabby) participates in the Creator Hub called US Creator Community. Pinterest created the hubs as geographical communities to discuss best practices, creative ideas, and gather inspiration for content creation.
They have workshops where you can learn all kinds of things such as using your phone to create content and creating idea pins. They also host various roundtables where Creators can hash out ideas and give feedback.
The only prerequisite to joining the general PBC is to have a business account, but if you want to participate in a hub you need to ask to be invited. Once accepted, to stay in the group, you have to create at least one idea pin a month.
Tabby says the PBC is a great place to be but it’s not a guaranteed place to get answers. Often the moderators don’t have the answers and they will suggest you fill out a support ticket to get your questions answered. That can be very frustrating, but we still recommend joining.
The reason I like the PBC is when there’s a widespread problem and everybody goes there with the same problem, the moderators are seeing all of these people saying they are having that issue. It’s more likely that the issue is going to get priority for getting an answer to you or fixing the problem.— Tabby
I also think there is value in getting another set of eyes on a problem. There is a group benefit in knowing that it’s not just you whose experiencing a problem. It helps to know you are not alone and you’re not crazy!
Although Pinterest doesn’t directly ask you to meet participation requirements as an invited member of a creator hub inside the PBC (other than the one idea pin per month), Tabby says active involvement is encouraged.
It is beneficial to be actively involved because Pinterest representatives use that community to get to know their creators. There are also opportunities for you to share your opinion on different features and products they have for Pinterest Creators and pinners.
In Spring 2021, Pinterest also introduced a Creator Code. This Code includes a set of guidelines that creators have to agree to before they can post idea pins.
The guidelines were introduced to mitigate negativity and inspire inclusive content to keep Pinterest a positive and inspiring place.
If you haven’t made an idea pin yet, then you probably haven’t seen the Creator Code.
When you create your first Idea pin, you will be served a pop-up that shows the code. You will be required to agree to it before you can continue. According to Pinterest, it is their way of encouraging “a kinder internet”.
I think the Creator Code was a great response from Pinterest to all the fractured platforms and negativity we saw post-election in 2020. It was their way of communicating that they want to be set apart and not delve into these things. I think this is one of the great things about Pinterest. It is a refuge from all of that negative conversation.
Tabby says she believes Pinterest has always been a relatively safe place on the internet and I would agree. The Creator Code is about keeping it that way.
We’ve seen in our Simple Pin community and through some of the emails that we receive that there are mixed feelings about joining the Creator Community and making Idea Pins. The biggest question we hear is:
What will I get if I do this?
Tabby’s response is “results may vary.” She says there are too many variables for her to feel comfortable telling our audience this is what you’ll get if you do XYZ.
There are endless variables within the Pinterest marketing ecosystem, including:
- level of niche competition
- frequency at which you create content
- your pinning frequency
- the extend you’re using best practices
- seasonality of the content, etc.
Even what’s going on in the world right now is a variable. Maybe people aren’t on Pinterest right now because they aren’t stuck at home like they were for such a long time. They’re getting out exploring the world instead of sitting at home pinning.
We hear so many people saying idea pins are giving them more indirect traffic and that jumping on new platform features right away has been really beneficial. We hear that from our own clients too.
But we also hear from others who say they are making tons of ideas pins and their traffic is going down.
Tabby says she lives by the motto that there needs to be a balance to life and she believes this is true for your Pinterest marketing as well.
When Pinterest drops a new feature like idea pins it’s great to say let’s do that! But just because idea pins are all the rage and Pinterest says they are the priority pin format, doesn’t mean you should drop standard pins and video pins.
It just means you add in all these ingredients and you make a beautiful little cake.— Tabby
My hope going forward is that there is that balance of a little bit of the old and a little bit of the new.
Pinterest is still the biggest bang for your marketing buck
We realize that producing all these types of creatives for different platforms requires time and creativity. I think that is what people are pushing back on. It’s so much easier to create a regular pin image. Idea pins are harder to create and people get frustrated with that.
Tabby is always intrigued when she hears all the fuss that Pinterest Creators make around idea pins. As the social media manager for Simple Pin Media, she works on all the other platforms. She says it takes double the time to market on Instagram, but we get exponentially more traffic from Pinterest.
We know this is true for many other creators as well. Even though it’s frustrating to have to add this extra piece to continue down the Pinterest marketing road, it’s still worth it. Pinterest is still driving FAR more traffic than the other platforms.
We realize this is not true for everybody but we believe it is true for the majority of Creators on Pinterest.
I think the important message to walk away with is we don’t want you to be left behind as the Pinterest train leaves the station because you’ve chosen to spend your time complaining and fighting against the new direction of Pinterest’s platform.
Please hear me when I say I’m not trying to diminish at all that some of you lost a large number of Pinterest followers in the great crash this past summer. That is a legit concern and there are times when we have to let Pinterest know something is broken.
I’m talking to those who say they’re banning Pinterest forever or they’re never going to create idea pins or go along with Pinterest’s new direction.
I genuinely care about each and every one of your businesses and those who are members of our entire Simple Pin community. It is my job to teach you how to use Pinterest in the most optimal way to grow your business.
I would not be a good leader if I tell you to sign a petition to strong-arm Pinterest into discontinuing idea pins. That’s never going to happen and it’s a horrible use of your time.
Let’s end on a positive note for those of you who are going to join this creator community. Here’s some advice from Tabby on how to get involved and get the most out of it.
- ask questions
- be an encourager
- take advantage of the great networking opportunity in the creator community
Our passion here at Simple Pin Media is to help business owners and entrepreneurs learn how to use Pinterest in the best way possible to market their content.
We don’t want this to be overwhelming for you. Approach your Pinterest marketing in a way that makes sense for you and your unique business and with the attitude that you will do what you can.
It comes down to you consistently creating amazing content that is super valuable to your audience and putting that out on Pinterest in the best possible way.
If you want to ask Tabby or me a question, DM us on Instagram @simplepinmedia.
We are also doing some testing with repurposing the reels that we create on Instagram for idea pins. So you’ll definitely want you to follow along on our Pinterest account to see what we are doing and hopefully learn from our example.
For Further Listening/Reading: