Do you really need to pin others’ pins on Pinterest?
There’s been a decent amount of debate recently on various blogs about whether or not, as a Pinterest marketer, you need to be pinning others’ pins on Pinterest, or even other brands.
Some say, “yes, but no”.
Other say, “yes”.
And there’s a rare few that say “no”.
As an expert with Pinterest marketing, and having written the #1 preferred book on the topic, I’ll put this matter to bed for you once and for all. And, I’ll happily support my position on this with reasons.
Explaining the Pinterest community concept: Pinning others’ pins on Pinterest – why?
The answer is absolutely yes. You do need and will want to pin others’ pins and not just your own. And there are a multitude of reasons why you’ll want to do this, even if you’re feeling insecure about sharing your competitors’ pins. And, I’ll give you a few options to help you boost more sales out of your pinning activities if sharing your competitors’ pins is what’s really keeping you up at night.
I, for one, do not follow accounts that are exclusively pinning only their own content. There’s no incentive for me to follow. They won’t share my pins if they’re only sharing their own. This is something to contemplate when working on your branding strategy for Pinterest.
1. Community Versus Selfish Behavior.
Pinterest is all about sharing ideas. Not just expressing your own and pinning all of your products like Pinterest is your personal virtual brick and mortar store. This is a community of idea finders and people who generate ideas. It’s built on the backs of creators with a sense of photography and imagery.
Bottom line, it’s selfish to only pin your own content and not pin others’. In addition, it’s also selfish to pin others’ out of a sense of obligation rather than to give your audience a curated collection of options for ideas.
There’s a few bloggers out there (who shall remain unnamed here) who only pin others’ pins out of a sense of obligation. The “because I have to otherwise I’ll get marked for spammy behavior” type blogger. That’s not the attitude that you want to have with Pinterest. And, honestly, I see them failing with their long-term strategy, most of them having under 500k monthly viewers.
These are bloggers I block once I know that they behave this way. Why? Well, let me ask you this. Would you want to re-pin someone’s pins knowing that they have no real interest in yours for selfish reasons, and that they won’t be re-pinning your pins? Probably not.
2. Decreases the probability of being discovered via boards.
You need to know something that is true for each and every account on Pinterest. Not all of your pins are going to be popular. Someone or some brand is bound to have more popular pins than you. And they’ll probably have some terrific ideas that you could share with your audience, too. Not to say that your ideas and products are not as equally good, but you’re not going to be everything for everybody.
Having a collection of great ideas, images, and pins only increases the probability of being discovered based on use of keywords and image use. Once a Pinterest user finds a pin they like, and it happens to be on your board, they may follow your board, even though the original pin wasn’t yours. You had just re-pinned it to a relevant board.
The collection of relevant keywords and images is what matters for board discovery and increasing your odds of boosting your online sales. Pinterest is not running its platform based on the intensity of the use of the keywords. Rather, a collection of them for board discovery. The more keyword combinations that are relevant to that board the better. And other peoples’ pins help you gather those combinations together by providing an array of possibilities and ideas on that particular board.
So that super popular pin of a competitor? Feel free to share it on one of your relevant boards. You’ll start gaining traffic and followers of that board and thus, increase your chances of having your products and services discovered.
And who knows? Maybe that competitor will acknowledge your share by sharing some of your pins, as well. Like I said, this is a community of inspiration and idea creators. That’s what makes Pinterest so wonderful and why I’m majorly obsessed with it.
3. Sharing Signals Confidence.
Nothing screams confidence and security with what you do and create than sharing the work of others, too. Confidence sells, right? Let people know you’re comfortable with sharing your competitors’ pins by re-pinning. I love sharing some of my competitors’ products. My audience deserves to know about all their options – not just my own. I’d prefer to let my customers to make a well-informed choice that is to their benefit. It’s their money to spend.
Even though I love to talk about email marketing, Canva Templates, InDesign templates, Elementor landing pages, and Pinterest, I still pin others’ creations, product listings, and blog posts to my boards. For me, this is about sharing ideas for the benefit of my audience. Now, if there’s something of my competitors’ that I disagree with or that I think could be better, I might create something that solves a problem for my audience. And I will feel good that my product is perhaps superior. Through marketing, I make that know, and let my audience decide.
I’m not saying you have to do the same thing, but I feel this is what Pinterest had in mind when it was created. It’s all about sharing ideas and inspiring people. Pinterest has come to be known as a safe haven from politics, religion, and controversial or even gimmicky, non-scientific-based content. So while you have the opportunity to share your ideas, products, solutions, and inspire your followers, do so while sharing the pins of others.
4. Idea Generation.
When you share more of others’ pins, Pinterest is going to show you a plethora of other pin ideas based on what you pin and share. I love this. Why? Because it keeps me sharp as a creator and lets me know what others are developing. Some of my best ideas have come to light after having blended a bunch of concepts together. I think you’re going to have a much better blend of pin ideas coming in your feed when you share and re-pin others.
Push yourself as a creator. Share ideas, content, and get inspired yourself with everything that is trending. This helps keep your eyes on the ball, and you’ll be able to feel the pulse of what’s happening on Pinterest. Use Pinterest to brainstorm and nurture new ideas both for your audience and yourself. It’s a complete win/win for you both.
5. Feeling Good.
You’re going to feel good about yourself, contributing to a community. You might just make someone’s day. You might make someone’s entire financial circumstance better by sharing. Sometimes, all it takes is to have a pin re-shared on the right board, in front of the right audience, at the right time.
Be a helper. We’re all out there, blogging away, trying hard, and paying for those baseball jerseys and Girl Scout cookies. This is just another way to help others. So I’d encourage you to do the “right thing” and change your mindset to sharing other pins and not just pin a bunch of your own.
Sharing others’s pins on Pinterest is simply a smart idea from these five angles mentioned above. Granted, with the new fresh content rules for Pinterest, you can probably cut back on others’ frequency and focus more on your own, so that you’re generating fresh content that your Pinterest followers want to know more about.
I have seen brands that pin exclusively their own content, and the one thing I noticed is that 1) they don’t have many followers and 2) their traffic isn’t as great as it could be. The point of sharing content is for discovery and finding relevant material for your audience. Even if it’s not your own. Your Pinterest audience will come to know you as a person or brand comfortable with competition, and a reliable source of information.
Also published on Medium.