Allison, no one is repinning my stuff. No one even knows I exist. How do I get people to follow me when I’m starting from zero?
For me, the tipping point seems to be 100. I’ve been working on my own Pinterest account for a few months, and it felt like it took forever to get to that first 100 followers. The same thing happened when I began helping with the New Media Expo account (formerly BlogWorld), and I’m going through it right now again, as I just began managing the TBEX account.
Once you get to about 100 followers, though, your account starts to gain momentum. Now, almost everything I post gets repinned, and beyond that, I get new followers every day, even if there’s a gap in my Pinterest activity. It’s getting that first 100 or so followers that takes the real work.
So how do you do it? Here are three of my best tips.
1. Repin from new sources.
One of the ways people find other people on Pinterest is by looking at who repinned their stuff. If you’re only repinning content from your stream, you aren’t reaching out to new people – you’re only repinning content from the people you already follow (and they probably already follow you in return). Go out there and find cool content from other people by using Pinterest’s search function to look for specific stuff or simply by browsing the different categories.
It’s rare to see someone comment on one of my pins. People just aren’t using this ability as readily as they do on Facebook. When you comment, you set yourself apart from the pack of repinners, and people are more likely to check out your boards in return. Always leave good comments, because something insightful or personal will get more attention than “haha” or “cool pin.”
3. Pin original content.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of logging onto Pinterest every day and doing nothing but repinning. The problem? Everything on Pinterest has already been seen by at least one person, and if it was something cool, it’s probably been seen by a lot of people. For maximum exposure, you need to start the ripple of repinning instead. So go out there and browse the Internet to find cool stuff. If you’re at the epicenter of a viral pin, people will recognize that and begin to follow you.