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Use Pinterest to Build Links and Blogger Relationships
Posted on April 23rd 2013
It’s hard to distinguish between the fads of social media from the true giants with staying power these days, as niche communities connect and grow almost overnight. One of the lucky things for those who are looking for how to link build is that we have access to great niche communities like Pinterest for free. There’s no need to buy a list or pay a fee to sign up; you just sign in and go. Major brands like Home Depot and Nordstrom are finding success on Pinterest because of its extremely active, niche fans.
The tricky thing about link building in general is that it takes a great amount of time to find a website that is not only a great fit for a brand or company, but also has great metrics and is willing to work with you (or at least hear your ideas for collaboration). Link building on Pinterest is no different: it can take a lot of time to find relevant sites and their owners, but you already have a topic of conversation lined up and you can easily be aware of what their interests are by just glancing through their pin boards. While it may take longer to find a lead, you ultimately can build a relationship more quickly because you can see a bit more of their personality before you even contact them.
So without further ado, what are some ways to find links and build relationships using Pinterest?
1. Identify Which Users Have Blogs
It happens all too often that a user will fall in love with your products, but won’t have a blog for you to get a link from. This is the most frustrating part of Pinterest and I believe can be one of the biggest obstacles to link building on this platform. However, if you are looking to build quality links with great social signals and work on a relationship with the blogger (rather than a hit and run link) then Pinterest might be the place for you. There is no magic search operator for finding only pinners with blogs, unfortunately.
If you look at a user’s profile, you may see a URL to the immediate right of his or her picture. This is a website that they have chosen to link to and it is usually a personal blog or website. There is no guarantee that just because a user pins your amazing infographics on content marketing that they will run a blog about content marketing. Users usually have more than one focus for their diverse boards. This is part of the reason why it may be difficult to find relevant blogs with traffic, high mozrank and an ample space for a link to you.
2. Follow Up on Pins from Your Website
Simply go to pinterest.com/source/yoururl/ to see what has been pinned from your site. You can identify users who often pin things from your website and find out if they have blogs. This can be time consuming to weed through, but any lead found through this method will already have a talking point for you lined up. Mention that you saw they were pinning often from the site and see if they might be interested in working with you in a greater capacity. More likely than not, they already love your product/service and are willing to at least hear out your proposal.
For example, VM has gotten some really great social pinning which is clearly displayed here: http://pinterest.com/source/www.verticalmeasures.com/. This shows only the times it was pinned from the website and does not take into account repins on Pinterest. A quick scroll through the pictures or the installation of a Pinterest tracking tool can tell you more precise numbers, but this is a great way to see who is pinning you straight from the source!
3. Find Followers of Your Brand
If your brand or website is on Pinterest, you can look into who follows your boards already. This can be a great place to find ready and willing pinners with blogs. They clearly already know of your brand, so the hard part of the initial pitch is done for you. Again, it can be quite a process because you must click on each user individually and look through his or her profile, but once you find a blogger, the likelihood of them being interested in your pitch is high.
4. Search for Relevant Users
I would call this the last resort of Pinterest link building. Because you can’t easily filter results, you can end up searching through hundreds of users and pins before you find anything worth pursuing. You can cut down on the amount of clutter by typing in a relevant term and switching your results from “Pins” to “Users” on the far right hand corner. This will show you only users who are ranking well in Pinterest for the term that you have searched. You will notice that some of the users have a small check mark next to their username. This shows that the website has been verified by the user on Pinterest which is a process that can be done quite easily. These users with checkmarks are most likely to be your influencers and will solve the problem of sorting through a thousand pins to find one useful blog to reach out to (much like a blue checkmark on a Twitter profile). Those users who don’t have a check mark still may have an awesome and targeted blog to offer you, but they haven’t taken the extra verification step to set themselves apart in the Pinterest world.
Bonus Tip: Search for Popular Pins
You can repeat a similar process to the one above, but instead of looking for users, you are looking for popular pins. Once you find an interesting pin, click it to make it pop up into the center of your screen. At the top of the pin will be a “Website” button (or at the bottom of the pin will be a web address) that you can click to take you to the original page it was pinned from. From there, you can find out if the site is a good fit for your outreach.
You can also click the small number next to the “pin it” button and see who else has pinned the pin. You can check out those users and see if they link back to their website as well.
As you can see, there are so many ways to use Pinterest that it can be almost overwhelming. I would encourage you to try them all and see which method yields the best results. It is important to spend time researching your customer and audience base before diving in, or you may end up contacting webmasters who are not interested in linking up with you.
Have any of these tricks worked for you in the past?