How I Grew to Over 10000 Followers on Pinterest

and why followers don’t determine your success on this platform.

Pinterest can be a puzzle for a lot of marketers.

It’s one of the least-understood platforms due to its rise as the DIY / blogging network — it’s often hard to imagine its applicability. How could it add value to your business in ‘xyz’ industry?

In this article I’ll dive in to what the platform is, who uses it, why you should use it as a business, and why followers don’t determine your success.

What is Pinterest?

I like to explain Pinterest as a place to “Pin your Interests” — kind of how you did on a cork board in your room as a kid. It’s a virtual way to organize and save any quotes, inspiration, photos, articles, how-tos, and ideas you would like to refer to later.

Who uses it?

Mostly women.

Though Pinterest is used mostly by women, men are also increasingly using the service. Men make up about 40–50% of new registrants as of 2019 (Aslam, Cooper).


Pinterest is a network of doers. People who are searching on Pinterest are not mindlessly scrolling as often as users are on other platforms.

Pinterest is frequently used more like a search engine than a social site — searching for answers to a question, how to solve a problem, or how to do something.

Why should I use it?

Pinterest is a highly engaging platform.

When scrolling through the platform homepage, you’ll see a curated display of pins related to things you’ve expressed interest in (by clicking or pinning similar pins in the past).

There are very few words that show — unless they’re embedded in the image itself — and these photos are almost all links to external websites that you have to click to find out more information. More impressively, these links get clicks that lead to purchases — approximately 33% more than Facebook. (Pinterest).

Again, because Pinterest users are doers.

People are not searching Pinterest for specific brands — over 90% of searches are unbranded (Cooper). This means they’re looking to discover: answers, ideas, and inspiration. This is the perfect time for your brand to show up.

How do I use it?

Similar to Instagram, this is a platform built around photos. Here’s a few tips to increase the engagement on your photos:

Use the right size / shape image.

In order to optimize your Pin’s real estate (take up the most visible space possible), your image should be taller than it is wide. Pinterest recommends a vertical 2:3 aspect ratio.

Include text on the image.

Use a few words that solve a problem or encourage users to review your website for the idea or answer they’ve been looking for, while keeping in mind that most users are on mobile.

Approximately 85% of people using Pinterest are using it on mobile (Pinterest) and these users will see your image on a small fraction of their device’s screen. Be sure you use a large and clear font that can be read on a small scale.

Side note: Pinterest has a very sophisticated photo search option that allows users to search an image to find others like it. For this reason, I would not always include text on your images because it will be harder for this tool to recognize similarities between your content and others.

If you’re looking for followers, don’t pin just your images.

Pinning images from others more often than you pin your own is a good rule of thumb for attracting followers. As an example, in growing my Pinterest, I pinned roughly 80–90% related and visually pleasing images from other users, and only 10–20% of my own self-promoting images.

If you’re a business focused on engagement instead of followers, I’d recommend shifting that ratio more heavily in the direction of self-promotion.

Be consistent.

Pinning regularly results in a nice distribution of your pins on the screens of your followers. If you pin a lot of pins all at once, they will all clump together and be easier to miss. Best practice is to save a few pins daily.

Use hashtags and key words in your titles and descriptions.

Similar to most other platforms, using hashtags and key words will help Pinterest’s algorithm out. It recommends your pins to the relevant search words or users who would be interested in your topic based on previous Pinterest activity.

Include a “save for later” button for Pinterest on your website.

Encourage others pin your content when browsing your website. Be sure to include at least one, but ideally several photos optimized for Pinterest embedded within each page. When they click the button to pin your page to Pinterest, it will allow them to choose an image from the ones available on your site.

Do I need followers to get value?


The major difference between Pinterest and other platforms is that your home feed shows mostly pins from people you don’t follow. While followers can help you show up to relevant users, they are not necessary for great results on Pinterest.

Due to how Pinterest is used (more like a search engine) and its matching algorithm, the important thing is to have the right key words and hashtags on the title and description of each pin. This will help you to optimize your chances of being seen by the algorithm as relevant to the user.

I hope you found something useful in this article. If you have any additional thoughts, ideas, or questions, drop a note in the comments below.

Finally, if you’d like to be friends on Pinterest you can find mine here.

Marketing Strategist with a passion for travel, nutrition, & mindfulness. Grad business student @ the University of Oxford. Read more >

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