I have my own little stories on how I got started with all of my favorite social media networks: I couldn't figure out Facebook until Myspace became SO useless that I really had to switch to something else; I couldn't figure out Twitter until I discovered Seesmic and got all my tweets, notifications and connections to my desktop (THAT's when I learned multi-tasking to keep up); I couldn't get StumbleUpon until I tried their promoted stories (thus I got an access to Analytics and was able to figure out where the clicks are coming from..)
I had a weird trouble with Pinterest: Having joined it automatically (It's an old habit: Joining every new social media platform that comes up in the spotlight), I ran into an unusual problem: Figuring out how NOT to forget to share there.
I created a few boards, followed familiar faces and pretty much forgot about it for a few months. I obviously lacked motivation and organization to see any results from my Pinterest presence. And as the one who lacks time to seriously engage in cool initiatives (like group boards), I was pretty much helpless.
That's when I started sharing from ViralContentBuzz and suddenly re-invented Pinterest. You see, VCB sharing can get addictive, so you keep sharing until you are done with your dashboard (to me, it's like homework: I feel a weird blame if I didn't go through my dashboard; something similar to what I felt a few years ago with my RSS subscriptions: If there was anything unread there, I felt I had failed someone…)
[You can customize your VCB dashboard to only see stories that might interest you, so it can be a good source of relevant content to keep your social media streams active]
So that's what I did: Started sharing A LOT, every day, while following the common-sense rules.
Don't Let Your Boards Become Overrun
An unorganized board is a board that isn't getting perused like it should be. When you have too many images, or when they aren't being cultivated into well formed boards with clear topics in mind, those boards are less likely to be followed. Sure, the occasional image that comes up in search might be repinned. But you want those users getting regular updates on content every time a new photo is added.
Make new boards as you need to, and never fill one with more than a couple hundred images within a short period of time (a week or so). Diversifying is a great Pinterest strategy: After all, it's a visual network; you are not expected to share content that ONLY focuses on your expertise. Don't be shy to show more of your personality there: Share your favorite food, places, etc.
Don't Post Links With Uninteresting Images
That low quality, barely related image someone pulled off of a royalty free stock site? That ain't gonna do it. While Twitter and Facebook are more about the content attached to a link, Pinterest is a photo specific platform. Your images have to be attractive and well done. Just because the content that is associated with the bad picture is good, doesn't mean your users are going to be forgiving. If it doesn't look good, they are going to ignore it.
Get More Creative With Descriptions
A good description is a good idea as it add context context to an image. It's also an obvious way to pop in keywords that will bring it up in search. It should be a natural keyword inclusion, of course, and nothing spammy.
So here you go: I found my motivation to share every single day and I see more and more interactions daily! Looks like a piece of cake!
[Of course, while I am there I make sure to like someone else's photos as well, thank for re-pins and follow back: you know, the obvious social media etiquette rules!]
What's your experience with Pinterest?