If you are already using a scheduling tool for Twitter and Facebook, then you know what a huge time saver the ability to plan your status updates in advance can be. So what about Pinterest? Yea, you can schedule your pins on Pinterest too while 2012 has undoubtedly been the year for this hot new social network, which now boasts over 25 million unique monthly users.
But for many pinners, maintaining a daily pinning habit is no mean feat. How many of us have lost hours sourcing eye-catching images from across the web, uploading them to Pinterest and crafting compelling keyword-rich captions only to find that half the day has gone?
Blasting 30 Pins In One Go Is An Absolute No-No
The only option for busy people seems to be a weekly pinning rampage. But blasting 30 pins in one go is an absolute no-no, akin to gate-crashing someone’s party. It floods your Pinterest feed and is a huge turn-off for your followers, often resulting in people unfollowing your boards en masse or worse, reporting you as a spammer.
A far better approach is to log into Pinterest several times a day and drip your pins into your stream at each sitting. But who has the time to do that? We’re all busy people with businesses to run and even though Pinterest is an awesome marketing resource, you don’t want it to take over your whole day.
I spent several months testing different Pinterest tools to find out if any of them allow you to schedule your pins in advance. A few resources promise to do this but in actual fact many are still in beta or this service is currently unavailable. Others charge you for this feature.
Then I stumbled across Pingraphy and everything changed. Pingraphy is a great new free tool that I’ve been using daily in my business and I can honestly say I’m a devotee.
Besides being totally free, Pingraphy is also very easy to use. But if it’s your first time, here are 8 simple steps to help you schedule your pins like a pro with Pingraphy.
1. Get An Account With Pingraphy
First, sign up for a free account at www.Pingraphy.com. Then once you’ve logged in to Pingraphy, sign in to your Pinterest account in a separate tab because this has to be open at the same time.
2. Grab The Pingraphy Bookmarklet
The next thing you need to do is to go back to Pingraphy, click on the dashboard, and grab the Pingraphy bookmarklet. This bright pink button works in exactly the same way as the Pinterest Pin It Button that you may already be using to pin interesting images from around the Web.
Just click the Pingraphy bookmarklet and drag it over to your browser area until it attaches itself to the tool bar.
(TIP: If it doesn’t work first time round, try a few times because each browser is different.)
The pingraphy bookmarklet lets you pin content from any website, including your own. This feature is extremely handy because it not only lets you schedule pins in advance but also lets you upload in bulk.
In just a few clicks you can instantly reduce your pinning time from one hour a day to one hour a WEEK!
Just imagine how much time you will save? Each time you find a website with appealing content, just click the bookmarklet and it will pull up all the pinnable images.
3. Select From The Pinnable Images
Choose the images you want and de-select the images you don’t want by unchecking the box in the top left hand corner. Then click the green Next button on the far right.
4. Optimize The Pin Captions
On the next page, you can (and should) add captions to each of the pins. It’s important to optimize the content in this way, especially for your own pins, to improve their searchability on Pinterest.
Be sure to add keywords for SEO, a call to action, a price tag if appropriate and the URL to your website to get the maximum benefit from your pin.
5. Add Links To The Caption Area AND URL Box
Pinterest will hyperlink any URLs you add to the caption area so this is a great way to get more exposure for your brand or business. You don’t even need to add the http part, www.domain.com will work fine.
Besides gaining a backlink from a high ranking authority website like Pinterest, putting a full link in this field will help you to not only visually brand your business but also make it easy for people to find you on the Internet. If you are the originator of the content, don’t leave this area blank, especially if you upload the image from your computer.
Adding a relevant URL link in the URL box too can drive a huge amount of traffic to your website so be sure to direct it to the homepage, or better still an internal page such as a specific blog post or your product page.
You can also link the pin to a squeeze page to build a list of subscribers, send visitors to an affiliate landing page to increase sales or even drive traffic to a recent press review to boost your credibility.
Just remember when you are pinning other people’s content to link back to the original source URL to avoid copyright infringement.
6. Select The Appropriate Board
The next step is to select which board you want the images to be pinned to and to decide when you want the content to be posted.
Pingraphy gives you two options – you can click upload and pin the images immediately or you can schedule them using the orange button, which is the focus here.
7. Schedule Your Pins
When you click schedule, the following window appears:
Pingraphy lets you choose the date, time and even time zone you want to post the pin. If you hover over the time box, a drop-down menu appears where you can select any date you desire.
You can also specify precisely the hour and minute you want the pin to go out just by sliding the cursor towards the right along the scale on the relevant bar.
You can even choose which time zone you want to post to.
Research by Pinerly, the Pinterest analytics tool, suggests that the optimal time for pinning in order to get the most engagement is Saturday mornings and late weekday evenings between 8pm – 1am EST. So it is a good idea to set your pins to go out during these peak periods.
Once you’ve done this you can return to the dashboard by clicking on the blue Dashboard link and view the pins that you have just scheduled.
Thanks to Pingraphy, you can schedule your pins wherever you are in the world at a time that suits you.
8. Rinse And Repeat
Now that you know how to schedule your pins to Pinterest, there’s no excuse not to pin consistently.
You could either upload a few pins directly or make it a weekly activity by bulk uploading 30 or so pins and scheduling them to drip daily into your Pinterest feed throughout the week. You could even hire an outsourcer to do this, assign it to your intern or delegate it to a team member.
Here, we’ve talked about scheduling flat 2D images but remember Pinterest also allows you to pin videos from YouTube or Vimeo. So go ahead and give Pingraphy a go.
It will help you easily manage your Pinterest marketing by allowing you to pin daily and provide fresh valuable content to your audience, whilst attracting masses of traffic, leads and sales to your business.
How are you managing your Pinterest activity? Is it working out for your business? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.