Pinterest Marketing Checklist

20 Fresh Pinterest Do’s and Don’ts You Need To Know


When it comes to Pinterest marketing it’s always evolving. What was working a few years ago isn’t best practice anymore and the platform continues to surprise us with new updates.

In mid-February 2020, Pinterest announced a new round of algorithm changes that are going to change the way you approach your Pinterest marketing strategy.

This is what I want to synthesize for you in this post – the New Dos and Don’ts of Pinterest Marketing in 2020, as well as those that haven’t changed.

And we’re going to begin with the bad news first…

Pinterest Marketing Don’ts

If you’re worried about your Pinterest marketing strategy in 2020, I recommend starting with the don’ts first. Eliminate some of these bad practices from your pinning routine and you’ll be closer to getting better results.

1. Don’t Use Low-Quality Images on Pinterest

Since Pinterest is a visual discovery platform, the images are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! The worst thing you can do to sabotage your success is to share images of low-quality. In fact, Pinterest has shared that they will prioritize quality, fresh images that haven’t been used on Pinterest before.

If you’re unable to take your own high-quality photo subscribe to a stock photography service that regularly adds new images. I recently started using Ivory Mix, which also has pin templates, and love it!

2. Don’t Pin Unrelated Content

If you’re a food blogger people expect to see content about food! This also helps Pinterest figure out where you and your content belong on their platform. Don’t pin unrelated content outside of your niche, you will confuse your target audience and your reach will be compromised.

Instead, set your personal boards to secret. You’ll be able to share other things that interest you BUT they won’t be visible to your followers.

3. Don’t Accept All Group Board Invites

When group boards were a useful tool to distribute your pins this rule didn’t exist. However, in 2018 Pinterest made it clear that group boards weren’t going to be as useful to marketers anymore. I’ve personally found them to hurt your reach since most users drop their content and leave without reciprocating.

Unless the group board is hyper-niched and related to your content don’t accept every invitation that appears in your inbox. If you already belong to a lot of group boards, I suggest checking your analytics to see which are helping you (if any).

4. Don’t Manually Schedule All Your Pins

Thankfully I entered the Pinterest scene after the launch of pin scheduling apps and didn’t have to manually pin EVERYTHING! Not only is it time-consuming but you have no idea when the best time to pin is.

Scheduling apps like Tailwind analyze the optimized time to pin and pins for you through their automated queue. In addition, they’ve recently made major changes to the app to make it easier to follow Pinterest’s 2020 best practices. Learn more about their SmartGuide here.

5. Don’t Pin the Same Pin Back-to-Back

Early this year we saw a lot of accounts get flagged for spam activity. One way to definitely create spam activity on Pinterest is by pinning the same content back-to-back.

If you published a blog post and want to share it on Pinterest space the sharing between a few days. You won’t get seen as spam and your followers will thank you.

Tailwind is making it easier to avoid getting flagged as spam with their new Spam SafeGuard feature and 2 days minimum interval time.

A screen of Tailwind's Pinterest Best Practices FAQ
Screenshot from Tailwind’s Pinterest Best Practices FAQ

6. Don’t Guess Your Keywords

Pinterest is essentially a search engine (though it often gets confused as social media). This means that KEYWORDS are incredibly useful in getting your content in the Smart Feed. The last thing you want to do is guess your keywords because they may or may not work.

Make sure to keyword research for each piece of content you add on the platform and include it in your title, description, and pin!

7. Don’t Forget To Optimize Your Website For Pinterest

Don’t put all your energy on your Pinterest marketing strategy on Pinterest itself. You need to optimize your website as well so website visitors can easily save your content.

I use Tasty Pins to hide vertical pins in each blog post. They also add a section I can write pin descriptions separate from the ALT text!

8. Don’t Use A Personal Account

I’m surprised there are still some businesses and professionals still operating on a personal account. If your goal is to drive traffic from Pinterest to your website don’t use a personal account!

Pinterest business accounts provide features you will need, including analytics, rich pins, and tracking.

9. Don’t Promote Spam

Expanding on #5, spam content has become a huge problem on Pinterest over the last year. It’s easy to unintentionally share a spam pin and find yourself suspended. Spam pins might be a stolen pin that points to a different website or misleading content.

In 2020, it’s essential that we filter these pins out by double-checking the destination before pinning.

10. Don’t Treat Pinterest Like Your Other Social Media Accounts

What you share on Instagram and Twitter will not work the same on Pinterest. Those cute hashtags and lifestyle photographs aren’t going to cut it here.

Your photographs need to lead to information people are searching for, or at least providing some form of inspiration they can save. They also need heavily searched keywords and some form of subtle branding or context.

Pinterest Do’s

You did it! We got through the rough NO’s of the Pinterest marketing world…now for the fun stuff. These are the strategies you should DEFINITELY BE USING on Pinterest in 2020.

1. Do Research Popular Keywords Relates To Your Niche

Discovering searched keywords on Pinterest is actually super easy. You’re going to want to find popular keywords for each piece of content you add to Pinterest.

To find the best keywords for your niche, I like to write down the keywords I’m using on my website and the keywords in my blog posts. I then take those to Pinterest and input them in the search bar and hit Enter. The little word bubbles that appear below the search bar are what people are inputting when they search! See, so easy! Try and find long-form keywords to target a more specific demographic or keep it simple and vague to reach a wider audience.

2. Do Complete Your Profile

If you’re struggling to grow your reach this could be the problem. To complete your profile you need a profile description, board descriptions, a verified website, and enough boards to make it look like you take your Pinterest marketing seriously.

You will stand out from your competition if you focus on this little task when they don’t!

3. Do Participate in Niche-Specific Group Boards and Tribes

Group boards have gotten a bad rap over the year, however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them completely. If you are a service-based business group boards are a great way to collaborate with your clients. Otherwise, make sure you join ones that are VERY relevant to your niche and have a good amount of engagement.

Better yet, invest in Tailwind Tribes as part of your overall Pinterest marketing strategy. They are built to be monitored which means the engagement and reciprocation are much higher. It’s easy to search and find tribes in your niche to submit and share too.

4. Do Use A Smart Scheduler App

Tailwind isn’t the only Pinterest scheduler out there but it’s the one I use and recommend. Smart Scheduling apps make implementing a strong marketing strategy easy because they do 80% of the work for you. They weren’t as popular 5 years ago, but have become a necessary part of a successful marketing strategy.

Whether you manage 8 client accounts or just your own, these apps save you hours of work and gather your analytics for you in a way that makes sense.

5. Do Add Subtle Branding To Your Pins

The design of a winning pin is pretty simple: image + text overlay + subtle branding.

You can be flexible with your pin templates, however, you should be consistent with the branding. At the very least add your logo or website at the bottom of the pin. Other branding ideas to consider are colors, fonts, and even attitude!

The anatomy of an amazing Pinterest pin design with subtle branding

6. Do Create Multiple Pin Designs For Each Content

Do continually create new pins for your content rotation. This is especially important now that Pinterest is prioritizing “fresh” content. To get started I recommend creating 10 templates you can start rotating through immediately. This will ensure the pins being scheduled look fresh and not stale. I’ve started doing this with all my clients and we’re seeing positive results!

It’s incredibly easy to implement this strategy using Canva. Each time you create a new pin design you love you can “publish” it as a “template”. This will save it in a folder in Canva where you can grab from as needed. Keep building up your Templates folder and soon you will have dozens of templates to use.

7. Do Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines

Captivating headlines are eye-catching and make you want to click. Since descriptions and titles aren’t immediately visible, you want to include strong headlines on your pin designs.

If you’re not good at writing headlines I recommend using CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. I’ll admit, when I began writing online I wasn’t good at writing headlines. They were informative but cold and boring. The click results showed it to. The Headline Analyzer was the best hack I discovered!

8. Do Research Your Competitors

Pinterest Marketing is becoming more and more competitive. To stand out from the crowd it’s important to find your competitors on Pinterest and see what they are doing that you can also implement.

Something I like to do pretty regularly looks for pins from my competitors that are doing well in search. I’ll type in a keyword I want to rank for and see what keywords the first results are using, and I will use those on my own. I’ll also use other users’ pin designs I like to model my new pins on. Obviously I’ll change it a little with my own brand colors and fonts but you get the idea.

9. Do Pin Regularly and Consistently

A successful Pinterest marketing strategy needs to be consistent. I use Tailwind to accomplish this, pinning 10-20 pins throughout the day without much thought.

If you pin manually, it’s important to pin each day, ideally at different times of the day. You will get the best reach and Pinterest won’t see you like a spam bot! Capish!

10. Do Promote Your Pinterest To Your Email List

Definitely encourage your email subscribers to follow or engage with your pins. The more engagement your pin gets the more Pinterest will distribute it!

The best way to accomplish this is by including a link to a pin and asking them to save it! You’re already likely promoting content to them anyway so why not give them an easy way to keep the information for later.

Ready to Get Serious About Pinterest?

That’s all for now folks! Pinterest is constantly evolving and adapting to its users which means we need to stay on top of these changes. Take these do’s and don’ts forward into your Pinterest marketing strategy for the best chance at success!

Your Free Pinterest Marketing Checklist by Caffeine and Conquer


    • Sarah Fournier says

      It honestly depends on your niche. For example, a food blogger who pins recipes will get thousands of link clicks a month vs. someone who pins content that’s less searched. The key is growth over time. If you track your analytics and it shows slow growth over months, or even years (which is normal for Pinterest marketing) then you’re doing it right!

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