Pinterest Engagement: Why You DON’T Need to be Engaging on Pinterest (+ What to Do Instead)

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? Let’s talk about Pinterest engagement, baby. ? 

And no, I’m not talking about finding your dream engagement ring on Pinterest. I’m talking about comments, follows, and all the other kinds of engagement that you can get with your content on the platform.

More specifically, I’m talking about whether or not YOU should be including engagement with others as a part of your Pinterest marketing strategy. Because this has been a topic of discussion all over the place lately, and I have some STRONG opinions on the matter…

So let’s break it down: what Pinterest engagement is, why people are suggesting that you should include engagement in your Pinterest strategy, and why I think you should absolutely NOT waste your time doing it. Here we go!

Don’t have time to read this full post? Save this Pin to your “Pinterest marketing” board for later!

Have you heard that you should be engaging on Pinterest now? Let's talk about Pinterest engagement-why you shouldn't do it + what to do instead.

What is Pinterest Engagement?

If you’ve heard of engagement on Instagram or Facebook before, engagement on Pinterest is pretty similar.

Pinterest engagement is basically any time someone interacts with a Pin or an account. This could be by repinning a Pin, commenting on a Pin, following an account, or any other number of actions that you can take on Pinterest (we’ll dive more into exactly what all of those actions are in the next section).

Having people engage with your pins in your account is great because it means that your Pins are successful. This is especially great because it grows your presence on Pinterest and ultimately leads to more clicks to your website. 

But how do you grow your own engagement on Pinterest?  Well, let’s first talk about how to engage on Pinterest in the first place… 

How to Engage on Pinterest

Anytime you’re on Pinterest and you engage with a pin or someone’s account, you are engaging on Pinterest.  Let’s take a quick look at all of the different ways that you can engage on Pinterest:

  • Repinning – when you repin other people’s pins to your own boards
  • Commenting – when you leave a comment on another person’s Pin
  • “Trying It” – when you post a picture on a pin of your own attempt at what it’s teaching
  • Messaging  – when you send another Pinterest user a direct message
  • Following – when you follow another Pinterest user
A pin which has been “tried” by other users

And that’s pretty much it! Now let’s talk about whether or not you should even be doing these things to grow your account…

The theory: engaging on Pinterest will boost your followers and engagement

So when it comes to engagement on Pinterest, the rumblings in the online business world is that Pinterest is skewing to be more of a social media platform than before. Meaning that you should start engaging on Pinterest to grow your account.

That means spending hours each and every week going through other people’s pins not just to repin them, but to comment on them, try them, follow their posters and even message them.

comments on a pinterest pin
Comments on a Pin

The theory is that when you do this, those Pinterest users will notice and potentially go back and follow you as well. This is the same theory that many people use on Instagram, Facebook, and all of those sorts of social media platforms, where engaging with other people grows your following.

And the suggestion is that Pinterest is becoming more like a social media platform, so using these strategies can grow your following on Pinterest as well.

But is this even true?  Here’s what I think…

Why I think this is bull****

Pinterest is still and has always been a visual search engine–not a social media platform.

And while Pinterest may have recently introduced some features that make it seem more like a social media platform than ever before (I’m looking at you, Story Pins),  this is absolutely still the case.

So suggesting that Pinterest is a social media platform and you should engage on it like it is a social media platform is simply wrong.

Taking the time to engage on Pinterest will NOT lead to significant growth in your success on the platform.

This has everything to do with user intent when people come to Pinterest.

When people are on Pinterest, they’re looking for ideas and inspiration, and they find those in the search bar, not in the comments on the pins that they posted (especially if they’re not Pinterest marketers themselves).

Not only that, but people come to Pinterest for an escape. They’re not looking to engage with other people when they’re on Pinterest (this is the same reason why Pins with faces on them often don’t do as well as pins without faces). They’re looking for me time. 

So when you take the time to go and engage on other people’s pins, chances are they won’t even see it. Or if they do, they won’t pay that much attention to it.  So the entire point of you going and engaging is moot.

You will see far more success if you treat Pinterest like the search engine that it is and focus on finding great keywords and optimizing your content with those keywords.

Side note: the spam issue

Another reason why I don’t like the idea of engagement on Pinterest is because of my own experience as a Pinterest manager, managing multiple accounts on the platform.

On every single account that I have ever had access to, almost all, if not every single one of the comments and messages those accounts have received have been spam.  This is just a fact of life on Pinterest.

Because of this, I often don’t even check the messages and comments on those accounts.  This means that anyone who follows a strategy that prioritizes engagement and engages with those accounts isn’t even getting seen.  And I know a lot of other people who do the same thing.

What Actually Works to Increase your Pinterest Engagement

Now that we’ve talked about why I don’t think you should be wasting time engaging with other accounts on Pinterest, let’s talk about how you can actually increase your Pinterest engagement, your Pinterest followers, and, ultimately, clicks out your website.

Hint: it’s all about the keywords.

Like I touched on before, Pinterest is a search engine, not social media. This means that you’re going to see the most success when your Pins are showing up in user searches.

And the best way to get your pins to show up in search results is with search engine optimization or SEO.

This means finding keywords that your ideal clients are searching for and optimizing your account and your pins with them.

For a full rundown of Pinterest keywords and how to optimize with them, check out this blog post.

Doing this will lead to far more success on Pinterest (in less time) than engaging ever will.

So there you have it: my take on the Pinterest engagement issue and what to do instead.

Tell me: have you spent time engaging on Pinterest? Why or why not? And will you keep doing it now that you’ve read this post?

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