There’s a lot of buzz around Pinterest group boards. What they are, how to find them and if they’re worth your time. It’s a big topic to cover. Here’s the long and short of it; if Pinterest is a part of your marketing strategy (and it definitely should be) then group boards are a must. They will help you get eyes in front of your content and drastically increase your reach. They are also an excellent source of great re-pinnable content for your own boards.
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I’m going to break down the do’s and don’ts of Pinterest group boards as simply as I can. It may seem overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it (and learn from some of my mistakes!) you’ll be on your way to major traffic growth.
What is a Group Board?
A group board is simply a Pinterest board in which multiple people can contribute pins.
One person owns the board and can invite others to contribute to the board.
They are beneficial because the pins in the board can be exposed to the followers of all the contributors, not just the owner.
So if the board has 10 contributors and they all have 500 followers, your pins could potentially be getting in front of 5000 sets of eyes. That’s why they are valuable to your marketing strategy.
How to Find Group Boards
The best way to find good group boards is to find a top blogger in your niche and take a look at their list of boards, chances are they will own or contribute to several group boards. You can tell if it’s a group board at a glance because of the bubble overlay indicating multiple contributors.
Write down the group boards you’d like to inquire about.
Then find the owner of one of those new group boards, and look at what boards they’re in. Repeat until you have a long list of boards to inquire about.
The owner of the board will always be the first person listed:
You can start by snooping through my list of boards if you’d like! 🙂
Another way to find group boards is to participate in FB groups related to blogging or Pinterest. They usually have threads for sharing group boards. Try this one, Pinterest Ninjas or this one, Post/Join a Pinterest Group Board.
Best Practices for Contacting Board Owners
The first rule of group boards is to always follow the rules and that starts with how to contact the owner. The board owner will likely indicate in the board description the best way to contact them. Usually by email or through Pinterest messaging.
If the owner has not indicated how to best contact them, I would stick with Pinterest messaging. It makes it easier for them to find your account and add you to the board anyway.
DO be specific when requesting addition to a group board, name the board accurately. I often get requests from people to be added to ‘my group board’, but I have several group boards. I usually respond and ask them to specify which board exactly they were interested in. One lady answered with “Oh any of them!”. Ummm, no. I will only add people who can contribute relevant content to the board, and who care enough to do a little basic research.
DO include a sentence about yourself and what kind of content you intend to add to the board.
DO always include the email address associated with your Pinterest account. If the board owner can’t add you through your username, they can email you an invite.
DON’T write an essay. I’m busy, you’re busy. We only have time to read short messages. Honestly, your life story and blogging background isn’t necessary information.
DON’T request access to a board which is closed to new contributors. It’s a waste of everyone’s time. If there is nothing in the board description that specifically says it is not accepting new contributors, then it’s fair game to inquire.
DO try to address the board owner by name. It’s just more personal and makes it look like you’ve done your research.
DO follow the board and the board owner. Even if it doesn’t specifically say to do so in the board description.
Expected Response Time
I’ve gotten responses from board owners within minutes, and sometimes I don’t hear back for 6 months, lol. It’s just how it goes. So don’t despair if you don’t hear back for several days.
As a group board owner, I wait until I have a handful of requests then I respond to them all at once. So the first people who inquired have had to wait a while for a response, but it’s a more efficient use of my time.
On many occasions, you may not hear back at all. I would say, on average, I hear back from 3 out of every 10 inquiries that I’ve made. Prepare yourself, you’ll have to send A LOT of inquires! Don’t take it personally if a board owner never responds. Your message probably just got lost in an over-flowing inbox.
If it’s been 6 weeks and you haven’t heard back yet, you could follow up. I’ve tried this a few times and typically the owner still does not respond. It could be that my messages are ending up in their spam folders or they’ve lost interest in adding new contributors to the board. So my advice is only bother following-up if it’s a really great board that would hugely benefit you. Otherwise, shake it off and move on.
“Comment to be added”
Some boards owners request that you comment on a pin in order to request access to the group board. In my experience, that’s a waste of time. No one ever seems to respond to those comment requests. You can still give it a try, but don’t get your hopes up. A direct message or email is pretty much the only way to get a response.
How to Up Your Chances of Acceptance
The best way to make sure you get accepted as a contributor to a group board, is to have a killer Pinterest game. Here are a few tips:
DO have an approachable photo of yourself as your profile picture. Using a graphic or logo as your profile pic can come across as a little corporate and at a glance makes you look like not a real person.
DO have at least 15 boards filled with a minimum of 30 high quality, re-pinnable pins.
DO have your description filled out with a link to your site. Your description should convey who you are, what you do and who you serve. Your ‘elevator pitch’ as it were.
DO make sure the pins you design and create are beautiful. Check out this post on How to Create Pins for Etsy Listings.
DON’T have any spammy, overly salesly or inappropriate content in your boards.
DO pin regularly to your boards. Check out my 10 Minute Pinterest Strategy that gets me millions of monthly views.
DO make use of group boards as a growth strategy. Check out this post: Pinterest Growth Hack
DON’T have irrelevant boards. If you are especially obsessed with under-water basket weaving, that’s fine but keep the board secret. Make sure all your public boards are on brand and relate your audience and business.
I created a free printable to help you keep track of all the Pinterest group board inquiries you make! Just click here or on the pic below to download.
When you’re just starting out on Pinterest, you may have better luck with group boards that have smaller followings. As your account grows so will your chances of being accepted into more popular boards. At that point I would try to stick with group boards that have a minimum of 1000 followers.
What Content to Contribute
I only add my own original content to group boards. I used to re-pin other people’s content to group boards, but then I realized that that was not serving me. It was serving the board, but not me.
The only time I add other people’s content to group boards now is when I’m participating in a re-pin thread in a FB group and the pin doesn’t fit in any of my personal boards.
Some Pinterest group boards are sub-categorized into more specific sections. For example, a Crafts & DIYs board might have a ‘Mason Jar Crafts’ section or a ‘Wall Art’ section. I recommend adding your pin to the most appropriate section. If there is no relevant section for your pin, then just add it to the general content.
Following the Rules
DO follow the group board rules. If it says ‘no recipes’, then don’t pin recipes. It’s pretty simple.
Board owners may remove you from a board with no notice if they don’t like what you’re pinning. So, follow the rules.
DON’T spam the board. Ever. It looks pretty tacky if the first 10 pins in a group board are all yours. Only add 1-2 pins to a group board at a time. You’ll want to check in on the board to see how fast the feed is moving. If other contributors are pinning frequently to the board, it will naturally help you space out your pins.
Sometimes a board will say ‘No Duplicate Content’. I kind of interpret that as part of the ‘No Spamming’ rule. As long as the board has pins added to it regularly by other contributors, I will re-pin pins I’ve already added to that board after about 2-3 months. Tailwind is super duper helpful for spacing out your pins because it tells you how long ago you added that pin to that board.
When you go schedule a pin in Tailwind, if you’ve already pinned it to a board, a little yellow box will appear around it. If you click on the yellow exclamation point it will tell you how long ago you pinned that pin to that board.
Tailwind offers a free trial where you can test out scheduling 100 pins to see if it would be a good fit for you! 🙂
DO re-pin lots of content from group boards onto your own personal boards. It’s common courtesy. Everyone benefits from a group board as long as everyone is sharing each other’s content.
DON’T re-pin just for the sake of re-pinning. Only re-pin content that is high quality and relevant to your brand/audience/target market. The best way to attract new followers is with great content. Crappy pins won’t attract anyone. Never compromise the quality of your personal boards.
How Many Pinterest Group Boards is Enough?
I don’t think there’s a magic number. When you’re just starting out, aim for 5-10.
I just counted mine up and I’m in 82! Holy cannoli, I had no idea! But don’t aim for that many when you’re just beginning. You can work up to it.
I never leave group boards. I don’t think group boards are ever a waste of time because they help to get more eyes in front of your pins. Unless a board is a real dud, I would stick with it. In another post I’ll show you how to use analytics to judge the quality of your boards.
The only issue with being in A LOT of group boards is that it’s difficult to keep track of what pins you’ve already added to which boards, unless you use a scheduler like Tailwind. Then you can create board lists which makes pinning your content super quick and easy. Plus it keeps track for you so you don’t end up spamming the board.
Tips for Etsy Sellers
There are a few quirks to using Pinterest as a marketing platform for your Etsy shop.
My #1 tip is to create unique graphics for your Etsy products, do NOT just pin the listing straight from Etsy. I wrote an in depth post allll about that.
My next tip is to try to create a variety of pins, not just links to your shop. Ideally you would have a blog you could pin from too, to mix things up. People go on Pinterest to find creative ideas and solutions to their problems, not to look at a storefront. Group board owners will be hesitant to add you if they think all you will contribute is pins of Etsy listings.
Here are a few group boards that are appropriate for Etsy sellers, just to get you started!
I need to wrap up this epic-length post, but if you have any questions just drop them in the comments! I’d love to help if I can!
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