Does following fellow Pinners on Pinterest increase Followers?

Does following fellow Pinners on Pinterest increase followers?

There’s not a lot of up-to-date advice or information available about whether or not following Pinners on Pinterest increases followers. Well, I couldn’t find any recent posts about the ‘Following’ strategy. There’s a lot of outdated and incorrect information out there, which can be quite confusing.

What do you think? Does the number of Pinners you follow influence the number following you?

If my stats are anything to go by then no, not really. However, does it really matter how many followers you have? We’ll see.

Currently I have 10,800 followers and I’m following 692 Pinners. That’s not to say though, if I were following more, I may have tens of thousands following me, who knows? My account is growing at a steady rate, on average 2 to 3 followers per day.

What do Pinterest experts say?

Most Pinterest expert bloggers believe that optimised images, reader base and content most probably play a larger role in increasing followers.  Also Search Engine Optimisation.

Naturally there’s some value in following others, especially if you love their boards. I follow people and boards that I admire, inspire, enrich my content and broaden the appeal of my boards when I ‘Save’ their Pins.

Does following fellow Pinners on Pinterest increase followers?

Photo credit: picjumbo.com

There’s most definitely exposure benefits in following other Pinners if they follow you back.  However, I wouldn’t consider this to be one of the key strategies of increasing followers of your account.

Business Insider

Business Insider is a great news resource and they interviewed Ben Silbermann, CEO and cofounder of Pinterest, in April 2016. I found this particular quote quite interesting:

Silbermann: “Our job is to help you discover ideas for yourself. Those ideas come from other people, but the objective is not to get a lot of followers or to impress others.

“There are a lot of really valuable services that are always pushing you to communicate with other people. But there are relatively few services that are about helping you be the person you want to be and fulfilling your ambitions.”

I repeat “but the objective is not to get a lot of followers or to impress others.” I’m afraid I don’t agree. Silbermann is missing the point.

As Pinners, we love getting a lot of followers and we want to impress others. We get excited by the number of followers we have. Naturally we don’t necessarily want or need to communicate with them, we just appreciate the follow.

Do you agree? We’re not all the same so I assume some Pinners won’t be at all bothered about getting lots of followers or want to impress.

So I thought I’d explore in more detail to try to find out if following Pinners does make a huge difference to how many people follow back.

Simple Pin Media

As well as Melyssa Griffin, I have taken an interest in Kate Ahl, owner of Simple Pin Media.

Simple Pin Media offers maintenance packages, account clean-ups and Pinterest Marketing consultation to bloggers and business owners.

Kate also has a course, called ‘Simple Pin Master Course’, which is $297. I haven’t taken the course; however, the feedback is very positive from her students.  Please note, if you access this course through my link above, this is an affiliate link and if you buy the course I will get commission.

I’ve mentioned Kate as she did a Q&A back in December 2015 about this subject.

One of the Simple Pin Media subscribers asked the question did she need to follow most of the people who followed her in order to get more followers?

Nothing definitive

Kate’s initial response was that she had heard several opinions but nothing definitive. And to be honest, that’s what I’m thinking too as a result of my research. I haven’t discovered a sound, concrete and successful formula.

A lot of posts on the internet about how to get more Pinterest followers focus on quite a few strategic steps.  I’ll go into these in more detail in subsequent posts. There’s too much to cover to include in this post.

Post Planner

Aaron Lee posted a blog on Post Planner which said ‘Follow People’. In Lee’s opinion “It’s simple: You’ll get more followers on Pinterest if you follow other people”.

Lee suggests following 5 – 10 people a day, rather than waiting for people to follow you, that this will make a huge difference compared to waiting for people to follow you.

Social Media Examiner

Social Media Examiner have also posted a blog on ‘How to get more Pinterest Followers’ and again it’s not just about ‘Following’ Pinners.

#10 on their key steps is ‘Follow Others’ saying that you should look for people with similar interests.  Follow them and a FRACTION, a FRACTION, will follow you back. They also say to continue to follow the ones that follow you back and unfollow the ones that don’t, repeating the process.

The author, Mitt Ray shares that if you follow this procedure you’ll be able to gradually build up a lot of followers. Ray reiterates, and to make sure you only get followers who’ll be likely to interact with your Pins, only follow people who have the same interests.

Alternative tactics

Not so sure about this, feel I’ve got a lot more important things to do than follow and unfollow Pinners. I personally think there’s quite a few alternative tactics we should be focussing on instead.  Such as writing quality content, creating perfect Pins, optimising SEO, ‘Saving’ quality Pins or commenting on popular Pins. What works for you?

It’s also important to consider whether having lots of followers on Pinterest matters or not?  Personally I don’t think it matters as much as people think it does.

Business Pinterest

Kevin Knight posted on the Pinterest Business section, ‘Why you don’t need as many followers as you think’.

As we’re all aware, gathering followers or subscribers is important, it’s how businesses connect with their customers online. But, as Kevin pointed out, on Pinterest, followers don’t play quite the same role as they do elsewhere.

We’re not to think of followers on Pinterest as our audience on Pinterest, we have to think of them as “the gateway to our audience on Pinterest”.

Does following fellow Pinners on Pinterest increase followers

Photo Credit: freepik.com

His point is, when people ‘Save’ Pins, every Pin they ‘Save’ spreads to their followers. This results in the number of people seeing your Pins could be far greater than your number of followers.

Page views

One thing to remember too, is, it’s not the number of followers you have that counts.  It’s the number of followers that ‘Save’ your Pins and click through to your website to find out more that counts. Your page views are more important.

I know for sure that my 10,000 plus followers don’t ‘Save’ my Pins on a regular basis, they’re following me but they’re not active. I recognise a few who ‘Save’ my Pins regularly. Most of my Pins are ‘Saved’ by people who don’t follow me.

It will be interesting to see how my blog Pins get on, when I’m ready to get these on Pinterest.

A large number of followers isn’t that critical

One of the key points is, especially for Pinners who want to encourage clicks through to their blogs or websites, the number of followers isn’t that critical.

A large number of followers doesn’t equal loads of traffic, clicks or subscribers. It’s all about the quality of the Pin, beautiful and good quality Pinnable images, the detailed informative description, quality content and call to action.

These days Pins aren’t just chronologically placed in the Smart Feed. The most popular Pins always make their way to the top of the Feed. So the Pins with the most ‘Saves’ keep floating to the top.

If your Pins don’t have any re-Pins or ‘Saves’ fewer Pinners will see them anyhow, whether they follow you or not. The same goes for the Pins your followers Pin too. You may never come across any of their Pins if they’re not popular and performing well.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there’s still no definite evidence or answer as to whether following Pinners will increase your followers.  Consequently it’s all about seeing what works for you.

Most of all, follow the Pinner because what they Pin interests you or you like their style. You can then curate lots of content to fill out your Boards. If they follow you back, then that’s a gift.

Pinterest is to be enjoyed not endured and it’s a bonus when you get followers clicking through to what you want them to see.

And finally, it’s really nice to have thousands of followers, however they’re just one piece of the jigsaw to get your Pins to lots and lots of valuable people on Pinterest.

From my experience and point of view, following Pinners on Pinterest who follow you may have an impact on your number of followers. However it’s not necessary, especially if you don’t like their Boards and what they Pin.

I’ll be blogging about the other pieces of the jigsaw in subsequent posts.

Please share with me what works for you. I’d be really interested in hearing what your thoughts are.

Heather
 

I'm Heather Love and I'm the one researching and writing the posts on this blog. My ambition is to provide you with useful, straight-forward insights on how to benefit from using Pinterest on a personal basis or as a route to drive traffic to your website, so that you can sell more products and services online.

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