In my August 2014 growth report, I mentioned protocols for getting invites to Pinterest group boards. One commenter asked for more information on what these protocols are, and I had the same question from some friends, so figured I’d share.
What Are Pinterest Group Boards and Why Do I Need to Know About Them?
Simply put, group boards are almost exactly the same as regular boards on Pinterest, except multiple people can contribute to them. One person will start the board, and from there will invite contributors who can also add pins to the same board.
If this is the first you’re hearing of group boards, you’re in for a treat. Your traffic will increase rapidly once you’re on a couple of good and relevant group boards. Tangible example: in July 2014 we were completely unaware of group boards and had three visitors come to our site from Pinterest. In August 2014 we were invited to contribute to a few group boards and had 872 visitors come from Pinterest. Wow.
How Do I Find Pinterest Group Boards?
- This tool is specifically to help you find group boards. It also provides some nifty filtering functionality so you can search based on words in the title and/or description, and from there can view the results based on most repins, most other contributors, most followers, etc. Here’s an example of a search I just did, where I selected “food_drink” as the drop-down category and selected “Repins” in the “OrderBy” drop-down to view results based on boards with the most repins. (Click the image to enlarge)
- Find similar bloggers and view the boards they contribute to:
- This one is a little more obvious, but is also a great way to find contextually relevant boards. Basically, search Pinterest for bloggers that are similar to you, (you should know of many others who blog about similar things to you), and view the boards they contribute to. When you’re looking through their boards, you’ll notice some of them have a little “people” icon in the top right corner. Those are group boards. In the example below, the “Reusables” board on the left is not a group board and the “Food Glorious Food” board on the right is. See the little icon I’m talking about? From there, click on the board and take a look, and if you like what you see you’ve found another board to add to your list!
How Do I Get Invited To New Group Boards?
Now that you understand what Pinterest group boards are, and also have discovered a few different boards that you’d like to contribute to, the next step is actually being invited. The process is pretty simple, and generally the same across all boards as far as I can tell.
- Follow the group board you’d like an invite too. (I’m not sure if this is a rule, but if you’re going to request an invite you should follow the board.)
- When you click the board, there will be a big red box with the instructions “Follow Board” inside. Click that, now you’re following the board so you can check this step off the list.
- Locate the owner of the board and follow them. (I believe this one is an actual Pinterest rule.)
- You’ll notice when in a group board there will be little gravatar images in the menu bar to the left of the “Follow Board” button. Those are contributors of the board. The first gravatar will always be the owner of the board, which is the person that will be most likely to send you an invite. Click on that icon, and you’ll be taken to the board owners personal Pinterest account. From there follow them and now you’re done with step two.
- Check for any instructions provided to request invites:
- In some cases, the board owner will actually include instructions for requesting an invite in the board description. If this is the case, simply follow the instructions and there’s a good chance you’ll receive an invite. Below is an example of a board, Food Glorious Food, that provides clear instructions. (Click the image to enlarge) In this specific case, the owner of the board has created a specific board just for requesting an invite. So, you’d simply go to that board, reply to one of the pins with an invite request, and wait for the invite.
- If after checking for instructions you find there are none, you’ll now comment on one of the board owners pins to request an invite:
- All you’ll need to do here is go back to the owner of the group boards pinterest account, navigate to their pins, and from there reply to one of them asking for an invite to their board. Below is an example of an invite request I found on the owner of the Food Glorious Food board’s pins page. Be short and to the point, and also specific around which board(s) you’d like an invite too. Many people have several group boards.
- Once you’ve requested the invite, you wait:
- We’ve received invites to a good percentage of the boards we’ve made requests to, but there are certainly a few that we never heard back from. Don’t worry, it happens to everyone and most likely has nothing to do with you or your blog.
Last Little Tips
You’re basically up to speed now, it’s really not rocket science but hopefully all of this is helpful. We’ve been utilizing group boards for a little over a month now, and here are some of the things we’ve learned about actually contributing:
- Always read the rules and make sure you stick to them. Rules like “no double pinning” or “don’t invite others to this board” are taken rather seriously, and with how crucial being a part of these boards is, you don’t want to risk being blocked.
- Work hard to find boards that are contextually relevant, and if you’re invited to boards that aren’t maybe consider denying the invite. Managing a lot of boards can be a challenge, so we’re working hard to make sure that each of the boards we contribute to are the right ones. This is our philosophy, and I’m sure many feel that the shotgun approach is better, (and they might be right), but just our two cents.
- Use a spreadsheet or tool (see our spreadsheet template here) to manage all of the different boards you’re on, to make sure you’re not over-posting the same recipe or entry one the same board. Unless there’s a “no double pinning” rule, you can share the came post multiple times over several weeks/months, but want to make sure you’re keeping track. We’ve found that using a spreadsheet has been working for us.
- Alternatively, a tool I recently discovered, TailWind, does a great job at helping with organizing and scheduling all of your pins across all of your different boards. There’s a free trial and from there the base plan is $15/month. We’re big fans, definitely worth checking out.
And Just Like That, You’re An Expert!
You’re now going to see just how amazing and powerful Pinterest can be for your blog. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help here, and if you have any other tips to share, (we’re still most definitely noobs), leave a comment!