12 Tips for Pinning on Pinterest After the New 2016 Changes

pinning on pinterest

Pinterest has been rolling out a steady stream of updates this year, including changes to its algorithm and affiliate policy. If you use Pinterest as a marketing channel for your business, then you need to be aware of those Pinterest 2016 changes to really make the most of the platform. Here are some tips for pinning on Pinterest in 2016.

Helpful Pinning on Pinterest Tips

Create an Affiliate Strategy

One of the biggest changes that Pinterest recently announced is that the site will again allow users to share affiliate links on the platform. So if you’re a blogger or influencer, you can use Pinterest as a way to increase your affiliate income. And you can now actually share those links directly on Pinterest, instead of just posting links to your website or a landing page that includes your affiliate links.

Connect with Pinterest Influencers

If you’re a small business that wants to increase sales through an affiliate program, this new change also offers a new opportunity for you. You can potentially connect with influencers who are popular on Pinterest with your target audience. The fact that they can share affiliate links directly on the platform could make your affiliate program even more attractive to them.

Take Your Branding into Account

Another change to Pinterest, at least on some of the mobile apps at this point, is how your boards and pins appear on your profile. For example, instead of just showing each of your board names and cover images, profiles on the iOS app now shows each board title over a sort of collage of the images you recently pinned to that board. So since Pinterest users will be able to see more of your actual pins when visiting your profile, it may be worth it to put more care into choosing pins that fit, or at least don’t totally clash, with your style and branding.

Don’t Rely on Repin Counts

On the web version of Pinterest and some mobile apps, the repin counts of each pin also appear differently. So if you’ve noticed much higher engagement numbers on your pins, it’s not because they all went viral overnight. Pinterest has just changed the repin counts to now display the overall engagement numbers for each pin, rather than the engagement each pin has gotten just since you repined it to one of your own boards. So you can no longer use those repin counts under each pin as a measure of engagement.

Utilize Analytics

For that reason, using analytics on Pinterest has become even more important. If you have a Pinterest business account, then you have access to analytics that can show you which of your pins are performing well and which ones are getting lower engagement. You can also use services like Tailwind to measure that engagement. Having that information can help you determine which pins might be worth promoting further or if there are any that you may even want to delete from your boards. It can also help you determine general trends in what’s popular so you can better determine your strategy for pinning on Pinterest going forward.

Keep International Users in Mind

One of Pinterest’s big goals with the recent changes is to appeal more to a wider base of users, including those outside of the U.S. A lot of those changes so far have simply been design and usability tweaks. But if all goes as planned for Pinterest, that means there could potentially be a larger base of international consumers on the platform going forward. So if that fits with your target audience, it could be worthwhile to create pins that are more geared toward international consumers, rather than only focusing on those based in the U.S.

Consider Promoting Popular Pins

Like other social media platforms, algorithm changes for Pinterest can make paying to promote certain posts a more viable option. If your pins aren’t getting as much engagement as you’d like to see, you can pay to boost a pin or two to increase your reach.

Optimize Boards for Search Engines

In addition, getting your posts found on search engines also becomes more important thanks to algorithmic changes. So if you don’t already, change the names and descriptions of your board to include some relevant descriptive keywords. The captions of each of your pins should also include some relevant descriptions so people can better find the content that is going to interest them on Pinterest.

Don’t Solely Rely on Group Boards

Pinterest continues to offer the opportunity for pinners to invite other pinners to their boards, creating group boards that can help increase the reach of your pins even further. However, group boards aren’t as powerful now as they once were. You can still use them, especially if you use just a few with just a few different pinners. But don’t rely as heavily on them. And make sure you pin valuable content to your individual boards as well.

Treat Likes More Like Pins

Also in some of the mobile apps, you’ll notice what appears to be a separate board that includes all of the pins you’ve liked on Pinterest. Before, users could still view the pins you liked on Pinterest, but they had to actually click on that part of your profile. Now, it shows up on your profile like the rest of your boards. So make sure that you’re okay with those pins appearing on your actual profile.

Share Genuinely Helpful Content

One thing that hasn’t changed about pinning on Pinterest is that users want to find and save valuable content. So the pins that you share should always be relevant and helpful to members of your target audience. If you take that into account, you’re more likely to get higher engagement on Pinterest. And that higher engagment can lead to even more reach on the platform.

Don’t Rely Completely on Pinterest Traffic

If anything, the Pinterest 2016 changes and changes or any other social platform serve as a reminder that you don’t have full control over how you’re able to reach people using those tools. Pinterest can be an incredibly useful tool for reaching certain audiences. But that doesn’t mean that you should only focus on Pinterest and discount every other marketing channel out there. Pinterest is likely to keep making changes to its platform – some of them will likely help your reach and some might hurt it. So be prepared by not focusing too heavily on any one platform, including Pinterest.

Do you have any additional tips for pinning on Pinterest?  Please share in comments!

Pinterest Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

20 Reactions
  1. Great advice and you’re right that allowing affiliate links will be major boon to certain pinners. However, the principles are still the same, that people will repin and share only valuable pins, so you’ve got to keep contributing value.

    • For sure! That’s probably the most important thing to always keep in mind when using Pinterest or any other social platform really

  2. Pinterest just deleted the photo upload feature from the iphone device. This feature is no longer available. Reasons for that they did not tell. For me one of the best Pinteresr features on my mobile device.

    • Oh wow that one must be really new – I’ll have to keep an eye out to see if Pinterest says anything about that change

  3. Thanks for the tips. I have to admit that these social channels can be tough to master with all the rapid changes. It is hard enough to get yourself out there but you also have to adjust with the regulation changes.

    • Yeah the changes can be a lot to keep up with. But adjusting is definitely important if you want to make the most of those platforms.

  4. Does anyone else think it looks a lot messier? It quite hard to see at a glance what boards are representing what. Also a lot of my titles have been cut off due to the overly large font including one-worded titles. Seems a bit of a step backwards?

    • Yes it looks messy and I don’t like the overall display.
      My name is missing from the top when I click on something from my hotmail account.
      Nothing looks as rich as it did.

      • I agree. I enjoyed the rich full images so much from my macbook and now there are just little boxes with tiny photos. No visual design that drew me to pinterest in the first place. I think they’ve made a big error!

    • Ann-Elizabeth Watt

      I agree! ~ Pinterest, please listen to us. Those who are design-oriented think your new pages need to return to the look of the earlier ones. “Different” doesn’t always mean better, or “progress,” either…

  5. I don’t like how my boards page looks now. They have made the size of the picture I choose for each board a lot smaller so it cuts it off. It used to look so pretty, and now looks bad. Why let us pick a picture for each board if you are going to cut it off? They keep messing things up! I liked it better when it first came out! Yes, they have taken a big step backwards!

  6. Not liking this at all. The beauty of the boards are gone. I think I’m done with Pinterest. It feels like a struggle now to try and see what’s going on. Why did they do this? There is a saying…if it’s not broken, don’t fix it …. could not be more true in this case. Or, if a change comes about, it should be for the better, an upgrade, and not for the worse. Oh well..it was a good run.

  7. I really wish the site LOOKED like it did just last month. It was so much fun pulling the images in together and creating a visually vibrant page! I just don’t like the new look and i’m not using it as much.

  8. It is so hard to see everything clearly with the new changes. I use a PC and this new look is shocking on the screen. I dislike it so much, I would rather not use this platform anymore. This is not a step forward in progress, this is a step back to a decade ago. Whoever designed it should be fired.

    • Totally agree with Mannzie.
      I wrote Pinterest and their rep had the audacity to assume I was using a device other than a PC.
      They’ve ruined the experience for PC users. I go by appearance and now it looks pale, washed-out, and is not the visually stunning site I went to Pinterest for. (Yes, “went,” past tense.) There is no longer a compelling reason for me to go to this site since the beauty has completely disappeared.

  9. Thanks for this post. Now I know I’m not alone. The new design looks like a cheap tablet for 8 year-olds. My pins don’t have the reach anoymore, my news offers me info I don’t care to see, and their support resources have still not improved. Such a great social platform, but I have lost hope in it this summer…and I’m moving ad allocations to facebook and elsewhere!

  10. What can I say .what have you done to the site? I’m so frustrated with this app I can’t get any of my pins !!!!!!!!! Not happy ?? I press on the app and what do I get nothing blank screen ..what is going on ? It says I have 14 pins to look at , I tap in nothing……. blank for weeks now . I have tried trouble shooting nothing!!!!! I thought I had done something I even reset my password , email address . I can’t get into my account… I really like this app I love looking for ideas ,now I can’t !!!! I’m sooooo disappointed please fix the problem asap

  11. I can no longer choose the board I want, they will not move.. do the sAME PEOPLE WHO OWN YAHOO EMAIL ALSO OWN PINTEREST??? THEY HAVE MADE A MESS AND PINTEREST IS FOLLOWING SUIT.