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Pinterest Changes for 2020

Pinterest recently came out and said they're going to favor and place more preference on new images and content rather than old pins. Read my opinions on some things floating around out there!

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Pinterest Marketing

Important Updates You Need to Know for Pinterest 2020

Pinterest 2020 updates and changes – there’s a few key things to know! Let’s talk everything Pinterest 2020 today and all the changes and updates you need to change within your business or process. Specifically, the buzz about “fresh content” and what that really means from Pinterest’s perspective.

Now, having conquered Pinterest myself, and having written the #1 preferred book on Pinterest marketing, Pinterest is pretty much our full-time job around here when I’m not writing a new book. I have some insight into what Pinterest is actually looking for from creators and pinners with these new announcements being tossed around. So let’s dive into each Pinterest update for 2020 topic and get to it.

Fresh content – what does Pinterest want to see?

So Pinterest came out on a video with Tailwind (somewhat cringeworthy, we’ll get to that later), and basically said this: “We don’t want to see the same pin image rotating on our platform anymore; update your images, produce or create new ones, and we’ll give you more impressions, clicks, and saves.” They want NEW images. NEW content. Not the recipe you created and posted 2 years ago, or the blog post about “how to start a blog” that has a cheesy stock photo and old, dated recommendations that are no longer considered best practices. Pinterest is visual based, and they want better, newer images. Period. That’s how simple this new update really is.

I believe Pinterest is somewhat following Google’s lead, as a few months ago there was discussion about how Google will be ranking content. Basically, Google prefers fresh, new images and not stock photos. So using the same photo stock, while popular and visually amazing, will actually hurt you rank-wise.

Remember, Pinterest algorithm now values recency (freshness) and relevance as key factors. That means that more recent, more relevant content will be shown more (and reach larger audiences) in places like the Home Feed, Search, and Following results in comparison to less relevant or older, more dated content.

Recommendations for Pinterest 2020

Given this new information and going forward, here’s what I recommend:

  • Go through your legacy blog posts and pages (anything you’ve created in the past), and create 3 new images for each post or page, and schedule it with SmarterQueue. Notice I didn’t say schedule with Tailwind. I’ll get to that later.
  • Update the text, headlines, borders, colors, layout, and images.
  • Get a system in place that is going to help you create new pins for each post or page. I have an image file set for each post and page now for my blog so I can easily go in, change the layout or the elements, and quickly generate new pin images for each within minutes.
  • Focus on creating new images, not necessarily new blog posts every day.
  • Create a system to better batch your photos knowing that this is Pinterest’s new preference. Priority will be given to NEW image content, not necessarily popular pins from 2 years ago, or even a few months ago. With a priority change in a platform, your process may need to change or update, as well.
  • I’ll be updating my recommended pinning system practices in my Pinterest course, and helping my own students achieve better results, knowing that pin images need to be fresh and new going forward with less reliance on older images, even though I’ve always recommended batch photos, pins, and creating new images.

By following these steps and recommendations, you’re going to set yourself up for success with Pinterest 2020, despite the changes. I think the change is good, and Pinterest is catering to the user experience. Would you want to continually see the same pin from 2 years ago, regardless of how much you loved being inspired by it, or would you rather see a new pin that gives you NEW inspiration? That’s what Pinterest is trying to achieve with this change.

Quality vs. Quantity

Now, this is a topic that is up for debate. Both are important for Pinterest 2020. You can still create quality pins while generating a high number of them (quantity). This is where having a batch system and place and taking note of your most popular pins in the past and what they all had in common. Was it the headline? The colors? The image?

The “new” recommendation from Tailwind is scheduling 50 pins a day. I don’t agree on this for a number of reasons, and here’s why:

  • I don’t trust Tailwind anymore.
  • Tailwind has yet to produce hard evidence or statistics that back up that recommendation. They’re just saying it. And it’s a number that feels like it’s being pulled out of mid-air. Where’s the data for this? If it were true and reliable, Pinterest would have it published as a best practice.
  • I have a theory. A while back, Tailwind’s draft scheduler was having significant loading issues and many, many people complained about it. There was no announcement of it being fixed. However, if they say that 50 pins is the recommended, that helps them solve that draft schedule page loading issue that once crippled their platform, to the point of un-usability. I believe, and it’s my opinion, that they’re using a scare tactic to lessen the burden on their scheduler system, as it’s faulty for bigger pinners with higher frequencies. Saying things on their platform like “going over 50 pins per day subjects your account to risk”. Hogwash.
  • 50 pins is not a number that serves bigger accounts. I have always said, and still stand by it, that pinning frequency appropriateness is dependent on the size of the account, and the kind of Pinterest account the user has. Bigger accounts can and should pin more higher quality and quantity content, and we (speaking as a large account holder of 5 Pinterest accounts) should be able to pin over 50 without interference with no trouble (spam, compliance, or Tailwind “rules” or “recommendations”). I still do for all 5 accounts, and nothing has changed, and my accounts have never been marked for spam or have been subject to shut-downs like so many others.
  • Tailwind has a lot of questions directed at them that have yet to be answered. I myself have sent in a few emails questioning limits, the looping feature which now seems pointless on Tailwind’s system (explanation below), and have yet to receive an email back. On that most recent cringeworthy Facebook live video they did with Alisa from Tailwind and Lucy from Pinterest, a bunch of people sent in questions, and the majority went unanswered.

So, I would say, if pinning 150 pins between others’ and your own works for you, and you’re getting even better results than before just by creating new images and updating old content, then that’s a winning strategy. My recommendation: I wouldn’t trust a for-profit company’s word on a recommended number that came out of nowhere (50 is not posted anywhere by Pinterest in best practices or otherwise).

Go with your gut, keep doing your thing, focus on quality AND quantity, and work hard at it. Pinterest 2020 guidelines call for changes. Focus on those positive changes. You’ll reap the rewards soon enough. I myself have noted the impact that my new pins have within 24 hours of posting, and I have completely abandoned the SmartLoop feature on Tailwind and Tailwind as a scheduler altogether, including tribes (explanation below).

Focus on Headlines, Call to Action, and Inspirational Imagery

This year, with the focus on new, fresh content, the importance of better, more inspirational imagery, better copywriting for headlines, and calls to action are at the forefront. Does your pin inspire the user to try your pin? Does it create intrigue? Is it a pin that they absolutely have to learn more about?

Get back to Pinterest 101 and the true meaning of what the application is designed to do: inspire. People pin and save and buy from Pinterest images all the time because they want to try NEW things. They want the newest gear, the latest helpful hack, to do better, and to live better lives. You can help them with that.

Just like the emergence of InstantPot recipes, there’s always a new spin on recipes or how-to’s that fit today’s more modern twists. Cater to those changes. (PS, I’ve become a huge Emeril Air Pressure Fryer geek and Pinterest is my go-to place for new spins on everything foodie.)

So take this opportunity and cater to the concept of inspiration and trying out the NEW. You’ll need new images, and possibly some new landing pages, but I guarantee the work is worth the effort.

 

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SmartLoop is pointless. Here’s how to do it better.

As it currently stands, Tailwind’s SmartLoop feature has become pointless, in my opinion. If Pinterest wants new images and fresh content, looping pins using the SmartLoop feature makes absolutely no sense. Tailwind has come out and said that you should use the SmartLoop as an indicator as to whether you should create new images for the SmartLoop. Which left Joe and I going like…

WTF? So use something that is supposed to be automated and easy (that we PAY for) to manually create more content and delete what COULD have been looped? Yeah. No.

What does make more sense is to use SmarterQueue’s rotational posting feature, which can be done automatically as well. With SmarterQueue, you can schedule your pins to a specific board, and load all the images you want it to rotate through. And because SmarterQueue is an official partner with Pinterest, this seems like a good idea and a better process. You can also switch up the description of the pin as it rotates through. This saves an immense amount of work and time. And, it also serves pinners who batch their photos.

I am hands-down sold on SmarterQueue’s system so much that I have abandoned using Tailwind altogether, and I can no longer ethically recommend Tailwind. There are just too many questionable things happening, lots of miscommunication within their team about bugs and the reason for those bugs (referencing a January 2020 email exchange I had with them), numbers and recommendations flying all over the place without solid, concrete data to show us, and finally, it’s beyond pricey in comparison to what you could achieve (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, et al) with just one scheduler like SmarterQueue. I plan to do a video tutorial on why SmarterQueue makes more sense given Pitnerest’s 2020 changes and updates, so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you don’t miss it.

Financially, it’s a better investment to go with SmarterQueue anyway, as I’m only spending just over $50 for a custom plan for all of my accounts. I’ve been able to drop our $74 monthly investment with Tailwind completely, because we haven’t had any real benefit from Tribes or SmarterQueue as a result of recent changes with Pinterest and “recommended” posting changes at Tailwind. So Joe and I are saving money and doing better without Tailwind as a result now (more on Tribes below).

Don’t spam.

This should go without saying, but don’t spam. As you’re going through and updating or creating new images for your website, be sure to schedule them over time, and limit those pins to the top 10 more relevant boards. Any more than 10 boards, and you might be setting yourself up for an account closure with Pinterest.

Tailwind Tribes Still Relevant? Probably Not.

Given its push to only pin 50 pins a day, Tailwind actually shot themselves in the foot. Not only has Tailwind Tribes been suffering to get quality users and content in the tribe panels, but now with their new “recommended 50”, people who use tribes are questioning why anymore, because others’ pins are going to eat up their scheduled allowance quickly. For bigger Pinterest accounts, using Tailwind tribes is becoming irrelevant. You can still get traction on new pins and images because that’s the new focus. Not whether or not it has been super popular. New content wins naturally now, and that’s a refreshing change for Pinterest.

And while pinning others’ content is valuable and important as a community member, it’s my belief that you don’t need to pay to play to do this. There are other most time and cost-effective ways to get this done. Like, 10 minutes. On your phone. Done. Pinterest 2020 has presented a big opportunity to leave expensive schedulers featuring looping and focusing on more current, relevant content.

So do you really need people in tribes to be pinning your content? Given the new preference for fresh content signals from Pinterest, probably not. Could you save that time pinning from tribes and apply that energy and time into creating new, fresh pins? Probably a wiser choice of investment. In lieu of participating in tribes, I would pick 10-15 Pinterest accounts that you know and love and manually pin on your phone or desktop for no more than 10 minutes a day. I guarantee it’ll be a huge time saver. It’s quick, easy, and you can get back to creating new, fresh images that benefit YOU and YOUR blog. Instead of spending time hunting and picking through content on Tailwind tribes, which has become a major time suck.

Yeah, we’re not doing Tailwind tribes anymore. And it’s been a huge improvement on our time and resources!

Video – the New Pinterest Medium in 2020

If you take note, Pinterest started pushing video pins last year, and they continue to be pushing new improvements towards the video medium every month. This is becoming a focus area for new, fresh content and I would recommend adding videos to Pinterest regularly, as it appears to be receiving priority placement in both search and feed. With all the changes focused on Pinterest 2020, it makes sense for us, and possibly you, as well, to start creating video content and making that a priority.

We Left Tailwind!

Joe and I had enough of the cringeworthy videos and unanswered questions from Tailwind, and this last experience was no exception. Pinterest 2020 changes were the nail in the coffin, even though it was a decision we had been contemplating since our last email interaction in January. I don’t know if they just need someone else to be present on videos who is a more polished speaker (who isn’t coughing or clearing their throat every 3 minutes, and presenting better questions) with better video presence, or if they just need to get their #hit together and answer some hard questions for once. When you pay big money for an app every month, it has to work. Without glitches, without drama, without making up magical numbers and creating limitations you never agreed to or weren’t advertised.

For example, they could focus on stolen pins. How can they help with that? Surely there’s a way. No answer. Instead, they’re advertising and surveying people about providing a “new image preparation service” while not fixing a lot of glitches in their app. Maybe focusing less on adding new services (because it’s all about the money with them) and instead, making tribes and looping features more relevant given the updates, faster, easier to use and attract better pinners (my favorite Pinterest accounts aren’t even on Tribes, so what’s the point?!) And this “going beyond 50 pins a day limits engagement” nonsense? Soooooo not true, and from all my own research with over 10 accounts varying in content and size, we have the data to prove it.

We used to be supporters of the app even after Tailwind somewhat bullied BoardBooster out of business (did I mention how they mocked BoardBooster users over their chat messenger and emails – I still have their emails and screenshots of unprofessional behavior!). But now, with just a combination of feeling “ugh” all over the place from baseless recommendations, limitations, price, and no added benefit, but rather, benefits removed (given SmartLoop and Tribes inadequacies related to fresh content), we have to make the EASY decision to leave and use a completely different scheduler like SmarterQueue. Joe and I are VERY happy with SmarterQueue, an app that we’ve used for several years, and haven’t experienced ANY drama with it like Tailwind has.

A New Process in Place

Given what could arguably be this “major” shift and change coming about with Pinterest 2020 guidelines from before, you may need to put a new process in place that continually allows for new, fresh pins to be generated rather than relying on pins you created months or years ago. It’ll be ok. I’m planning on video on YouTube with how you can stretch your pin images further without having to retake all of them or come up with entirely different ones. I think you’ll benefit from watching how to make your images go further and work harder for you, so that you can keep creating without making this new change a heavy burden on your project list.

Plus, you’ll see even more traffic as a result of your new process. So it’s a win-win!

The Bottom Line for Pinterest 2020

The takeaway here for Pinterest 2020 guidelines should be that old pins no longer should be circulated, and you should focus on new, fresh content. From our perspective, being experts at Pinterest, focus on pinning frequencies that work for you, and don’t buy into any magical number that is being tossed around. Each account is different, and should be treated as such.

Adjust your pinning practices, get rid of looping features, and instead, focus on schedulers that make it easy for one-time uploads that rotate images and descriptions naturally and automatically for you like SmarterQueue does, and use a scheduler that doesn’t get bogged down with scheduled posts, like Tailwind often does.

Implementing a new process or pinning strategy can be stressful, but just think of this as an opportunity create new things and to get more traffic from it as a result. Stop relying on the old, and look forward to the new!

 

Everything Pinterest.

Have questions about Pinterest? Get them answered by an expert. My resource library is full of things to help you get better at Pinterest.

Thank you for subscribing!


Also published on Medium.

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About Kerrie Legend

She is a writer, graphic designer, and Pinterest nerd. BFA in Graphic Design, a BS in Marketing, and minored in computer science, Spanish, and Business Administration. Classical pianist. Prolific and bestselling author of Pinterest Marketing, and boundary-pushing template creator. Goat wrangler and mommy to six adorable boys.

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