Have you been on a relentless pursuit of the viral pins unicorn? I’m here to tell you it’s time to re-focus your Pinterest marketing efforts in a different direction!

We just released our brand new Ultimate Pinterest Planner, so if you haven’t gotten it yet, please go grab it. It’s over 20 pages of amazing Pinterest planning for the whole year.

Today’s episode is a little different than usual. I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on a podcast interview I listened to recently.

Don Miller was interviewing Claire Diaz-Ortiz. I have been on Claire’s email list for quite a while and was super impressed with the interview and the things she shared from her new book.

Woman completing a Pinterest statistics form, with text overlay "Are viral pins the key to Pinterest success?".

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.

Viral Pins Are Not The Goal

The thing that stuck out to me was a quote that Claire shared from her new book, Social Media Success For Every Brand: The Five StoryBrand Pillars That Turn Posts Into Profits

People believe that social media is about making you go viral and that if you can go viral, everything will be solved and your brand will sell millions for years to come. That almost never happens. Brands have spent millions trying to go viral and they haven’t been able to do it.

When we think about going viral, we think that money will just rain down from the sky and we’ll finally evolve into a 7-figure business owner. That is by far the biggest myth in our social media world.

As the head of a Pinterest management agency, I’ve had the opportunity to look under the hood at MANY Pinterest accounts. When it comes to viral pins, what I’ve observed is that the traffic generated by viral pins initially explodes. But soon after, it typically just dies down to pre-viral levels.

Do viral pins always equate to long-term success? I would definitely argue NO.

Legacy Pins

But if virality is not the goal, then WHAT IS? What goal are we supposed to set our sites on in our Pinterest marketing efforts?

Legacy pins.

I first heard the term legacy pins from my friend, Monica Froese. If you’ve been a long-time listener/ready, you know that she has an awesome Promoted Pins course, and has been on the podcast to share her vast wisdom on promoted pins.

Legacy pins are those pins that get picked up and are shared over and over on the Pinterest platform. Over time, they earn the coveted award of a high-ranking position in Pinterest search.

What does this mean for you? It means that legacy pins will bring you steady traffic, year after year. Getting that traffic will help you reach your goals.

I would choose legacy pins over viral pins any day. 

When you look at your Google analytics, you can see big spikes in your traffic and then what appears to be really low periods in your traffic. Remember that the big spike could be a viral pin. In the aftermath of a viral pin, it’s easy to make the mistaken assumption that your traffic is on a downturn, when, in fact, it’s just returning to a normal level.

It’s important that you watch your analytics for these viral pins because you want to normalize your traffic to get an accurate picture of what’s going on.

Related: What to Do When You Experience a Pinterest Traffic Drop

The SHARE Formula 

How do you create legacy content that is going to serve your people well (instead of just chasing after viral pins)?

In Claire’s book and in the podcast interview, she introduces her SHARE formula:

Share –  Share great content that your people will love and benefit from. One of the biggest hurdles for people is that they simply copy what others are doing. That isn’t serving your people. Find out what your audience wants, and share that specific content.

Related: How to Use Google Analytics as a Content Creation Tool

How – Be consistent. Share pins to Pinterest daily (a minimum of 5 pins per day). Spend some time messing around with your tactics and figure out what works best for you by investigating your analytics. Make sure you have enough content to share daily.

Audience – It’s not about you! The hero should be the customer. Don Miller and Claire talk about this in the podcast interview. The biggest question your audience has is, “What are you going to do to serve me?” You should be sharing content, not to get attention, but to help your audience.

Reach – Increase your reach to amplify your brand. Prioritize your existing customer over trying to get new customers. If we’re constantly looking over our own crowd to see who’s standing behind them, eventually the crowd will start to realize that you’re not investing in them. There can be a lot of pressure to bring in new people. Show up for the people who have already said “yes” to you.

Excellence – Turn negatives into positives. We don’t have to reframe things for the Pinterest user as much because we don’t have a lot of conversations on the platform. I see this a lot more on Twitter and Instagram. Jon Acuff is a great follow on Instagram and Twitter because when he is the recipient of negative comments, he turns them into something funny and positive. Don’t’ get sucked into the negativity.

Woman completing a Pinterest statistics form.

Building a Legacy 

One of the biggest takeaways from the interview and the book is that the whole of your Pinterest marketing should not be about how many viral pins you can get. It’s to build a legacy that is standing on pins that will continue to deliver value to your people over and over.

As a result, your business will grow. This is a win-win for everyone.

Go pick up a copy of Claire’s book and let me know your thoughts after you read it.

For Further Listening/Reading:

Time Stamp:
3:00 – Viral Pins Are Not The Goal
4:50 – Legacy Pins
7:24 – The SHARE Formula
14:05 – Building a Legacy

FREE Download - Getting Started with KPIs Guide

Learn how to track Key Performance Indicators to measure your business success. Download our FREE printable Getting Started with KPIs Guide

Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Hey Kate, checking out some more of your content and came across this great post.

    I’d have to agree, instead of focusing on getting pins to go viral, I feel it’s much more manageable and profitable to have multiple pins “do well” instead.

    10 pins that do well VS. 1 pin that goes viral and then dies down … I’m pretty sure most would see that multiple pins that do well enough is much better.

    This article was a great read and I’m glad I bookmarked your site considering I use Pinterest/Tailwind daily. Thanks for the info!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Posts