Pinterest group boards used to be all the rage. Want to see your traffic explode? Get on the group boards! Need a pin to go viral? You guessed it. Hellooooo Group boards!
But are Pinterest group boards as effective as they once were?
Nope. And that’s most likely how it will be from now on. If you’ve relied heavily on Pinterest group boards for traffic in the past and have noticed your numbers slipping lately, don’t worry. Here’s what you can do to get your profile back on track.
To All The Group Boards I Loved Before
Breaking up is hard to do, but when it comes to Pinterest group boards, sometimes you gotta let them go. Once upon a time, I was a member of several huge group boards with well over 100 contributors and tens of thousands of followers. This seems logical. More members, more eyeballs. Right?
Well, not anymore.
If you’re part of group board that is constantly being flooded with new content of varying quality, you’re going to get lost in the mix. Additionally, you don’t want your profile associated with spam, which is what a lot of these mega group boards end up becoming.
Remember that the goal is to provide quality content and value to your followers.
According to Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media (who is fabulous by the way), Pinterest never intended for group boards to become these 1,000+ collaborative ventures where bloggers could dump copious amounts of content to spread around. And they’re getting hip to the game.
Pinterest’s algorithm is not amused by your participation in spammy group boards. In fact, many creators find that when they leave the big, spammy groups, their Pinterest traffic actually INCREASES.
Before you go leaving ALL of your group boards, let’s look at how you can update your Pinterest strategy and change the way you view group boards instead.
What Defines “Success” On Pinterest?
If you want to be successful on Pinterest, you need to be mindful of WHAT you are pinning and not just how much. True confession – when I first started, I repinned like crazy to all of my boards and reciprocated any and all repins, no matter how good (or poor) the quality of content.
It seemed to be working for a while. My vanity metrics (more on that in a minute) were great!
Who wouldn’t want 739,265 eyeballs every month?
At one point, you’ll notice I crept over the 1.2 million mark. But views do not equal traffic. Whereas all of my repinning was giving me the appearance of success, the big metric you need to care about is how many people actually CLICK onto your website.
For me, it fluctuates between 400-600 every day which is GREAT for my personal blog’s niche. Over 85% of that traffic comes from Pinterest. But it’s nowhere near the number of supposed monthly views my profile gets. And that’s true for EVERYBODY.
Hence, why it is referred to as a vanity metric.
When I slowed down and looked at the analytics for several of the big group boards I posted to, I realized that despite the board having 20K+ followers and my consistent pinning regimen, I was getting maybe a handful of repins each week from them.
Were my pins just not click-worthy?
Well no. On my own boards, those same pins received thousands of repins and saves, leading to the bulk of my Pinterest-generated website traffic.
Give Your Pinterest Profile Value
Pinterest is changing. It is slowly updating its algorithm and introducing new features like the Smart Feed to weed out all the spammy content and reward creators for creating fresh, high-quality content instead. Repinning 100 or so pins every day to juice your stats is not cutting it. In fact, you may get penalized for it.
Pinterest is a long-game so assume from now that anything you do to try to expedite that process and “beat the system” will do more harm than good.
If you want more tips on how to create a high-quality Pinterest profile, click here.
How To Know If A Pinterest Group Board Is Worth Your Time
The general consensus among the Pinterest experts is that you need to ditch the boards with 100+ contributors, especially the “promote all your pins” type of group boards.
The problem I found myself running into with my personal blog’s Pinterest profile was that it became increasingly difficult to find high-quality content because my Smart Feed was littered with spammy posts telling me which vegetable juice was going to cure cancer.
It made me not want to be on Pinterest for a while.
Do not allow your profile to become associated with spam. Your numbers will start to tank.
With the new Smart Feed, Pinterest is beginning to prioritize which pins get seen based on engagement (that’s clicks and saves). If you’re pinning to these enormous boards and getting little engagement, Pinterest is going to think your content is no good and prioritize your pins accordingly.
How do you know if a Pinterest group board is giving you engagement? Check the analytics.
On your Pinterest analytics tab, click profile and then go to “Link Clicks.” Scroll all the way down to “Boards with most clicked links” and see where you’re getting the most clicks in proportion to the number of pins and impressions within that board. Here’s a quick video to show you what I mean.
Are There Any Group Boards Worth Joining?
Potentially! But the big takeaway here is that you need a Pinterest strategy that does not rely heavily on repins and clicks from the big group boards. It’s just not happening anymore.
Kate Ahl, in her infinite wisdom, suggests looking at the following when deciding if you want to join a group board:
- TEN or fewer contributors (I know, right!)
- A very specific name (explicitly related to your niche or topic)
- Has contributors with FABULOUS content.
That means no more “Girl Boss Babes Unite” boards with 137K followers and 500 contributors for you, my friend.
If you do decide to join group boards, you need to keep your eye on them. Check the analytics every month to make sure it’s worth your time. Also, spend a few minutes every week vetting the content on the board. If it becomes too low-quality or spammy, it’s time to go.
If you want to dig really deep into the analytics (recommended for people with much higher monthly traffic volume), the equally fabulous Louise Myers has a strategy for using Google Analytics to track your pins’ effectiveness. Word of caution – it’s a little time-consuming.
What Should You Do Next?
You’ve got a bit of homework to do. Here’s a checklist of things you should do, starting today, to clean up your boards and profile.
Don’t Have Time To Do This Yourself?
Let me help you! I offer A La Carte and Customized Pinterest Management services and would be happy to chat with you about hiring me to clean up your boards and profile. Let’s chat!