Bloggie Wednesday: Growing Your Social Media Following One Platform At A Time (aka My Pinterest Case Study)

Bloggie Wednesday: Growing Your Social Media Following One Platform At A Time (aka My Pinterest Strategy)

Up to a few months ago, Pinterest had been a major stumbling block for me. I didn’t understand why people were obsessed with that social media platform up to the point of wasting hours on end on pinning images. It seems like such first world blogging problems but it really was a struggle for me. I had zero idea on how to use the platform to my advantage. Yes they are pretty pictures but, erm, what else do they do other than allow people to pin them to their boards? How do I use it to drive traffic back to my blog without selfishly pinning only my images?

I had so many questions but I had no answers.

Early last year, I was quite a lucky duck to win a spot in the Secret Bloggers’ Business Bootcamp course that was (still is!) run by Kate McKibbin who is the founder of Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily. It’s a comprehensive blogging course in which Kate shares her tips, tricks and secrets to creating a smashing blog. In one of her modules, she delved into the subject of growing your social media following and one tip stood out to me: in order to grow your social media followers, focus on just one platform at a time for 1-3 months. Don’t multi-task and split your focus. If you want to grow your Instagram followers organically, concentrate on just Instagram and post frequently. So on and so forth.

I decided to try that out on Pinterest. It was time I found out how the platform works and how I could really use it to drive traffic to my blog. For the next month, I concentrated on Pinterest. I placed daily reminders in my planner to “pin images on Pinterest”. I couldn’t do it during the morning and afternoon because as many of you know, Pinterest can be such a productivity killer so I only did my pinning in the evenings when Tim and I are on the couch watching TV.


Pinterest Board Makeup Inspiration

At first, I didn’t know what the heck to pin. I repinned a lot pretty images of makeup, fashion, home, food and so on at one go but that didn’t really work. My mind went back to the word: FOCUS. So I searched for makeup inspiration, fashion editorial makeup shoots from international magazines, costume makeup and so on and I pinned at least 20 of those each night. I kept my focus purely on makeup inspiration (I have a Pinterest board called “Makeup Inspiration“). That was when I started getting lots of repins and slowly but surely, my followers started to grow.

Now at that point, I didn’t pin any of my own content. It was purely about pinning other people’s images and checking out their content instead. A couple of months in, I started to add my content as well. My strategy was to pin about 15-20 images of other people’s content, pin 1-2 of mine and then pin another few more that aren’t mine. This way, I made sure not to flood my follower’s feed with just my content.

One of my pinned content did very well. I pinned my Motivational Quotes Printable Stickers Download Freebie post on Pinterest and I have the massive planning community on Pinterest to thank for my surge in traffic. The end of December and beginning of January is always the lowest period of traffic for any blogger as people are usually busy spending time with their family and friends and not on the computer. For the first time in the almost 8 years I’ve been blogging about beauty, my traffic soared during that period thanks to that post and Pinterest. I was absolutely gobsmacked.

Pinterest Growth Chart

February 2015’s figures are based only up to 7 Feb

This post isn’t just about how I use Pinterest or how I slowly but surely grew my Pinterest followers. As you can see, my numbers aren’t massive. I don’t have thousands, tens of thousands, heck hundreds of thousands of followers. What you’re seeing is the growth in numbers ever since I decided to just focus on one social media platform to grow in October 2014. I’ve tried this strategy on Instagram and while the growth percentage isn’t as significant as Pinterest, there was an improvement. I stopped concentrating on Instagram because I decided that it isn’t a platform I could use to drive traffic to my blog. Whaddyaknow, the social media platform that I was struggling with the most has now given me more clarity than Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

If you’re thinking of joining the Secret Bloggers’ Business Bootcamp blogging course but aren’t sure if it’s worth the money, let me assure you, it is. While I did get in for free thanks to winning their one of their competitions on Instagram last year, I would have gladly paid for it. This tip I learned from Kate in the course helped me tremendously.

There’s a Russian saying that goes like this: “if you chase after two rabbits, you will not catch either one”. This was a massive lesson I learned when growing my social media following. I was splitting my time amongst Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even Pinterest and in the end, neither grew. Decide on which platform you want to grow and focus on it at least for the first 3 months. The platform that drives traffic back to your blog the most is the one you should concentrate on. Remember, your social media following numbers don’t mean much if they don’t drive traffic back to your blog.

Good luck!

Do you have a Pinterest account? Let me know in the comments so that I can check it out! Also, if you have any tips and strategies you’d like to share on how you grew your social media following organically or if you’ve blogged about it, feel free to share them in the comments!

Bloggie Wednesdays is a series of articles just on blogging. They contain tips, how-tos, discussions about anything and everything you need to know about blogging and how we can be better bloggers. If you have any suggestions, tips and tricks about blogging you would like to share with us, or if you have any questions you would like me to address, please let us know in the comments.

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12 comments… add one
  1. MonicaP

    Oddly enough I don’t think of using Pintrest for growing my blog, I sort of use it as a data base of stuff I like that I can look at no matter where I am. Sure, I’ve pinned a few of my blog items and those have been re-pinned a few times. I’ll check out the link for the course as I’m going to have some time on my hands and I’m looking for stuff to do .. 🙂

    Monica ..

    if you’re curious:
    MonicaP recently posted..Fringe Cardigan and a few accessories from Charming CharlieMy Profile

    1. Tine

      To be honest, I didn’t think of using Pinterest to grow my blog either. I didn’t understand how other people did it. Next to Google Plus, Pinterest baffled me greatly. It took just a few pins here and there to spread knowledge of my blog via Pinterest. One thing interesting is that if you offer something valuable and free to download from your blog and pin it on Pinterest, that piece of content will be pinned many times and you’ll have quite a significant amount of traffic coming in (and hopefully, your blog will entice some of them to stay on as readers).

      Thanks for the link! I’ll be sure to check it out. 🙂

  2. sesame

    I love Pinterest! It’s not only good for building traffic, it’s great for finding inspiring and useful content. But I slack off the platform till recently. I agree with you that Instagram is hopeless in driving traffic. Facebook does a much better job for me.
    sesame recently posted..5 reasons to use face oil with more cautionMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I agree. I’ve been finding a lot of great content ever since I decided to learn up on Pinterest properly. The very visual platform sure helps in finding new and amazing blogs to read too. Instagram doesn’t work for me at all to drive traffic so I’ve decided to spend less time on it and focus on the ones that properly drive traffic instead. Hmmm does this mean I can start posting more pictures of my dog Janey on Instagram since I no longer give two hoots? 😛

  3. Paris B

    I have to say I don’t get Pinterest, nor am I particularly interested in it as a social media platform for myself. Yes, I do get some traffic from there from other people doing the pinning which does drive me to take better pictures because in the end, it’s just about a pretty picture if I’m to be honest. As a traffic driving tool, I think it’s far better than Instagram (pretty pictures! Like/pin!) while being similar. Instagram is crap at driving traffic primarily because they do not allow clickable links. I forsee that will may change in the future or it might not, it’s hard to say. But as a platform for interaction, I find it more engaging.

    But my take away here is to focus on your SM platform and for me, that’s Instagram because I find it a good complement to the blog and a nice outlet for me personally, even if my blog traffic isn’t spiking due to it. I get the odd referral which pleases me because it means someone actually bothered to click through the profile link. But I’m not all about the traffic anymore – the human interaction on IG pleases me because some people don’t have the nerve to comment on the blog, but they’ll ‘speak’ to you on IG which I think, is because IG seems more informal. Like talking to a friend, while the blog is like speaking in front of a whole class. Different goals, different results, and we should just work with whichever we enjoy best because that will then be what grows the fastest 🙂
    Paris B recently posted..Feeling Down? Dress Up and Make Up and things will look up!My Profile

    1. Tine

      I noticed that you do get a great deal of interaction on Instagram and that’s great. Mine, not so much and while I won’t discount the platform altogether, I don’t think I’ll be spending that much time on it any more. It took me a long time to discover the usefulness of Pinterest when before, I’d think it’s a time-waster. Well, it still is but I’m actually enjoying it now. 😛

      To be honest, I wish we didn’t have to work that hard on our social media platforms. Maintaining a blog is hard enough and now it’s no longer enough. Don’t you just wish for the good ol’ days when we can just blog about anything we fancy? 🙂

  4. MEL

    Interesting! Such a good tip. I often find updating so many social media platforms at once so overwhelming that I update none.
    MEL recently posted..Violet Box January 2015 Review!My Profile

    1. Tine

      My point exactly! I’d have Twitter tweets scheduled, Facebook updates scheduled, heck even Instagram photos scheduled. There were far too many platforms to maintain to ensure there’s good content on each platform. When I was working on these 3 platforms to grow at once, these platforms barely grew. However, when I concentrated on just one (especially when I added Pinterest to the game), the growth was almost exponential. I highly recommend just focusing on growing one at a time. Not so taxing too. 🙂

  5. Kate from Seduced by Beauty

    I am glad that I am not the only one who doesn’t really understand Pinterest. I am going to take your advice and focus on it for a couple of months and see if I can gain some traction (and understanding). Well done on your growth – that is exciting for you 🙂
    Kate from Seduced by Beauty recently posted..8 Traditional Valentine’s Day presents with a twistMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Nah, you’re definitely not the only one. Not long ago, I actually disliked the platform because I didn’t understand it at all. It definitely took time and a bit of effort but it definitely paid off, thankfully. I find that offering a valuable and free download on a blog post via your blog and have that pinned on Pinterest (after making the picture pretty, Pin-worthy, etc) drives a lot of traffic to the blog. Do give it a go and good luck! 🙂

  6. Priscilla

    I never actually thought that Pinterest could bring traffic to my blog… I have my account and as MonicaP, I also use as my makeup database. I have the app on my iPad so I can discuss looks with clients based on her references and mine… It’s a great tool.

    1. Tine

      That’s a great idea. A lot of people use Pinterest as their portfolio and even vision boards to share with clients. It’s also a great deal for clients to give you an idea of what they’re looking for instead of just telling you in words. Thanks for your link; I’ll check it out!

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