How to Create an Audience on Pinterest - dummies

By Shiv Singh, Stephanie Diamond

What good is it to create Pinterest boards and share pins when you have no friends to see it? To make friends, you have to follow others. Following on Pinterest is similar to “friending” on Facebook. It means you’re choosing to have someone’s boards and pins show up in your feed, which will help you to find people you want to know more about, and inspire others to follow you in return.

Determining the types of people to follow and have follow you requires some strategy. Although your ultimate goal is to reach a wide variety of people, you also want to target the people who will do the most good. That means those who will follow through with liking, commenting on, and repinning your content.

How to follow friends

Because you’re representing a brand, you definitely want to appeal to the people who also follow your brand on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. However, you don’t want to solely rely on your loyal, existing community to make up your Pinterest community. The reason you join any social network is to grow your community, and you can’t grow it by following the same people every time.

Announcing on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and other social media services that you’ve started a Pinterest page is great, but to build up the number of pinners you follow and who follow you, also contact friends directly and let them know you want to connect on Pinterest.

You can invite friends by typing in their e-mail addresses, invite Facebook friends to connect with you, or Pinterest can search your Gmail or Yahoo! Mail accounts for contacts that are already on Pinterest. To invite your Facebook contacts:

  1. Hover your mouse pointer on your name in the top-right corner of the page and choose Invite Friends from the drop-down menu.

  2. On the page that appears, select Facebook from the options on the left.


  3. Click the Find Friends from Facebook button.

    A new page appears, and it shows your friends who have a Pinterest account and friends who don’t.

    For your friends who don’t have a Pinterest account, you’re given the opportunity to send them an invite through Facebook’s private messaging system. Use this function sparingly. To receive invites from a brand via private message is likened to spam, and it’s a good way to turn people off.

  4. For the friends who already have Pinterest accounts, a Follow button appears to the right of their photos.

    Click Follow to add each new friend or click the Follow All button to add every friend in the list. You’ll see their updates in your feed. However, they won’t see yours unless they follow you in return.

  5. When you’re finished, click the Pinterest logo at the top of the screen to return to your Pinterest home page.

How to follow folks you don’t know

After you’ve exhausted all your known contacts, it’s time to make new friends to follow. The best way to find new friends is to use the Search box located in the upper-left corner of your Pinterest page. You can also use the Categories drop-down menu located above the Pinterest feeds and browse the categories that appear to find pins and pinners who will be a good fit for your community.

Before randomly following everyone who pins, make sure you share common interests and that your brand page fits the types of pins they post and the interests discussed in their personal profiles.

If you’re worried about being overwhelmed by too many images in your feed, you don’t have to follow every board by a particular pinner. You have the option to follow only the boards that interest you.

Don’t randomly follow people. Make a list of the types of people you wish to follow and the keywords and phrases used to find them, including the search engine optimization terms you use for your website or other social networking profiles. Search for existing customers so they can continue to support you by sharing your pins. And find new, potential customers by using search terms.