Today we are tackling a topic that I get asked about all the time: Pinterest group boards. I have Louise Myers of Visual Social Media with me today. I’m excited to have her here because she is so knowledgeable about this topic.
Louise comes from a graphic design background and has been doing freelance graphic design for decades. Currently, she authors a blog that helps people make their own designs, since visual marketing is so incredibly important in this social media and content marketing era.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
History Lesson On Pinterest Group Boards
Pre-2014, Pinterest gave us the opportunity to create and join group boards. The idea was that multiple people could share content on the same board. When marketers and bloggers used group boards as an opportunity to get their content in front of new audiences.
In 2014, the Pinterest algorithm changed to what we have today — where the feed is not follower or chronologically based. In 2015, we saw a huge wave of group boards become seemingly useless. Ever since then, there’s been this drive to try and figure out how to make group boards relevant again.
There’s a philosophy out there that you should join all the group boards you can and post as much content as possible to those boards. This isn’t a good strategy. If you’re on boards that are full of spam or pins that don’t fit your niche, you’re in what Louise calls a “bad neighborhood.” Don’t hang out in places where you aren’t around your people because that doesn’t benefit you in the long run.
The Three Gates of Group Boards
Here at Simple Pin, we use “gates” to evaluate group boards. First, we look for the name of the group board and at the number of contributors to a group board. That is an indicator of the health of the board. If there’s a group board with over 500 contributors, there’s the risk of spam or irrelevant content, and it can get out of control.
The third “gate” pertains to the content of the group board. Do you want your audience to see the content of the board? Is it a “neighborhood” you want to be a part of? If not, it’s better to avoid that board.
Pinterest Group Boards: Q & A
Louise received a question from someone who just started using Pinterest about four months ago. They asked her why it was so difficult to get followers and repins given that they belonged to over 50 group boards. Once she dug into the analytics, she realized that these boards have less than a 1% repin rate. Joining tons of group boards was a great strategy for gaining followers and repins pre-2014, but not so much today.
The Evaluation Process
Louise evaluates her group boards about once a month. She uses Tailwind. Another quick way to evaluate is to look at your Pinterest analytics and check out the boards with top pin impressions.
Another super helpful tool that Tailwind offers is the pin inspector. It’s the best way to get really specific information on how your pins are performing. It shows you how many pins you added to the board and adds up your repins.
How Do I Find And Join Group Boards?
You can use sites like PinGroupie to find lists of group boards by niche. There is also a Facebook group called Pinterest Group Boards. Another way is to check profiles of pinners in your niche. The last way (and probably the best), is to network with your business friends or in a Facebook group.
Joining boards can take a fair amount of time and tenacity. The first thing you have to do if you’re trying to join the board of an influencer is to respect the rules of connecting with them. Pin their content, join their Facebook group, etc. Be genuinely helpful.
Check the group board description and see if they’ve left any instructions about how to join. If they say they aren’t accepting any more users, respect that and don’t harass them. If they haven’t left instructions, you can try contacting them through a Facebook group or their website. If you know someone who is a contributor to the group board, you can see if they can add you.
Number of Group Board Followers
Another question we get asked a lot is whether boards with a lot of followers are better than boards with fewer followers. You want to join boards with people who have close to the same audience size as you do. This is why open group boards don’t really work (they are accept people who don’t have an authoritative presence on Pinterest yet).
Number of Group Boards vs. Personal Boards
We are all looking for the magic answer to all questions related to Pinterest. Unfortunately, there aren’t any magic answers. Louise has about twice as many personal boards as she does group boards.
You cannot neglect your personal boards for the sake of group boards. Personal boards typically perform better than group boards because you own them and control everything that is posted on them.
The Best Way to Use Group Boards
Louise doesn’t pay as much attention to her group boards, but she ranks them by performance. When she creates a new blog post, she pins it to her best boards first and intersperses pins to her group boards. She uses group boards as a supplement. Avoid being “spammy” on a group board.
Running Your Own Group Board
When and why should you start your own group board? A great quote Louise saw online says,
Don’t invite anyone to a group board that you wouldn’t invite to a dinner party.
When there’s a small group of people with content that you know you want to share with your audience, that’s a good time to start a group board. It’s all about collaborating with people you know. Get back to the basics. Then there’s no pressure as far as managing that board.
Other Options for Content Sharing
We’ve talked about group boards, but let’s not forget about Tailwind tribes and Facebook share threads. Looking at all three of those options, is there a benefit to one of them over the others? And is it necessary to use all of them?
Louise hasn’t participated in Facebook share threads and she would avoid them if they require you to share every pin that’s being posted in the thread. You want to pick and choose the content you’re most likely to share with your best friend.
With Tailwind tribes, you can choose what content you want to share which is a huge benefit. Also, tribes are the only one of the three where you can monitor whether or not people are actually following the sharing rules.
Group boards can perform well. It’s not all gloom and doom. For those of you who are evaluating your group boards, no one gets a notification if you leave the group board. And if you leave the group board, don’t worry about automatically joining a new one.
Group boards can be helpful but you’re going to get a lot more bang for your buck by working on things you can control and two of those things are your content and your keywords!
More Helpful Pinterest Group Board Resources:
- Pinterest Group Boards Cheat Sheet
- Pinterest Group Boards, the Good and Bad: Ultimate Guide
- How To Evaluate Pinterest Group Boards & Why You MUST
4:30 – History of Pinterest Group Boards
7:52- Where We Are Now
12:40 – The Three Gates of Group Boards
14:45 – Q & A
15:55 – The Evaluation Process
23:20 – How Do I Find and Join Group Boards?
30:40 – More or Fewer Followers
34:50 – The Magic Number of Group Boards
38:30 – The Best Way to Use Group Boards
44:05 – Running Your Own Group Board
50:05 – Other Options for Content Sharing
54:20 – Wrap Up
FREE Download -- Pinterest Board Clean Up Checklist
Get a jump start on cleaning up your Pinterest boards. Download our FREE printable Pinterest clean-up sheet making it easy to organize your boards.