What Are Pinterest Communities?
If you’re like me, and a bit of a Pinterest geek, you may have seen a lot of chatter online about something new on Pinterest: Pinterest Communities!
Pinterest Group Boards
For some time now, people in the online space – think bloggers and small online business owners – have been using group boards in a way that Pinterest did not intend.
If you wanted to get your content in front of more eyes, you would have to go to great lengths to join a group board. Such as:
• Hunt down appropriate group boards that would work for your content
• Follow the first person on the collaborators tab (which means all their boards, not just the group board)
• Send an email to that first person (who is the creator of the group board)
• Wait an eternity for them to get back to you. Often they don’t.
Those who knew about this collaborative element of boards early on, were in a great place to reap the benefits. You could join a group board with 50k followers. Those followers were not actually yours, but followers of the original group board. By being a contributor, your content would get seen by as many of those followers as Pinterest chose to show it to.
Phew… did that make sense?
Why Pinterest Communities Then?
Pinterest has said in several interviews / Facebook Lives that the way group boards evolved was not how they were intended to be used.
It really is a free-for-all in some group boards. People come, add a lot of content, and then disappear. No engagement with other content on the board.
And so, group boards got a ‘spammy’ reputation.
Pinterest’s answer to this was to devalue group boards – showing the content less in Pinterest users’ feeds – and to create Pinterest Communities.
What Are Pinterest Communities?
Pinterest communities are super new. Like, I only joined one last week for the purpose of creating a couple of my own super niched communities. I’d invite you, but they’re for my The Creative Curator account…
As far as I can tell, having had to join a community to explore, Pinterest Communities have great potential:
• To be like a FB group on Pinterest whereby you can build relationship and engage with Pinterest users who have a genuine interest in what your community is about. Yes to this!
• To be like group boards and be super spammy, leading to silence in the community. No this that!
As I said previously, I had joined a community to explore, but then left as I found it overly promotional… I’ll show you a peek now!
Inside A Pinterest Community
We’ll take a look at two communities. The first is a vegetarian community, the second is one I created – DIY Clothes.
Here’s what the community looks like. And be aware that you can view a Pinterest Communities content without joining.
Joining A Pinterest Community
This is a screen shot of my main Pinterest account. It’s all about making your own fashionable clothes.
You can see on the top right of the bar, a tab called communities in between Home and Following.
This tab will only appear once you have joined Pinterest communities. Both on desktop or mobile.
When you click on the communities tab, you’ll be taken to a page that shows the communities you are part of…
as well as other communities you might like to join…
Vegetarian Pinterest Community
This Pinterest Community is all about vegetarian food. Sounds fab!
I’m not a vegetarian, but I do eat a lot of vegetarian food, so this would be right up my street as a community to join, learn more and chat with fellow community members who love vegetarian food too… Right?
Within a Pinterest Community, you’ll see ‘New’, ‘About’ and ‘People’.
This is where you’ll find new content that has been added, chronologically.
The Pinterest Community creator will have (hopefully) written something about the community they created; its purpose, aims, and rules – if any.
This tab will show you the people who have joined this particular community.
This is a looksy at a post inside the Vegetarian Cooking community. This is what I would hate to see in my Pinterest communities… The profile ‘Life Currents’ has added a pin, with a little description, and the pin links to? their own website.
Engagement on their contribution is just 3 likes.
Did anyone click through to the website? Only Pinterest and ‘Life Currents’ will know for sure.
What I really dislike about Pinterest communities so far is how people who have accessed this feature are already using them in a way that Pinterest appears to not have intended. To drop a pin, expecting traffic, and run. Where’s the interaction from this person elsewhere in the community??? *Rolls eyes*
Here’s a screen shot of a Pinterest Community I created. Yep, it’s only me tucked in this community for now! 😉
There is only one post in the new section – and it is a bit of chit chat and an image (not a pin) to encourage community members to engage and talk. Right now, I’m not sending people to my website, because they don’t know me.
Here’s an idea… Why don’t we get to know each other first, like you would someone at a bar, before you invite them to have a look around your home?
Contributing To Pinterest Communities
When you’ve joined a community and you’re ready to contribute something, you’ll want to click on the blank box that says ‘start a discussion’ – oooh, did that say ‘discussion’? Not drop content and run? 😉
Then, add to the discussion. Write a post just like you might do in a Facebook group – i.e. non-spammy – and add a pin or an image.
The pin will link to the URL so that when a viewer sees and clicks, they’re taken off Pinterest in a new tab.
An image will just come up bigger when clicked upon. It does have it’s own URL as part of the post. Mine in the post above is:
…which isn’t too dissimilar to a Pinterest Pin URL.
Considerations When Adding Content To A Pinterest Community
I’m going to go off on a mini rant here peeps… Please, can we use these Communities as communities to build relationships and not traffic sources?
Let’s not destroy Pinterest Communities with spammy, self promotional content the way people destroyed group boards? Please?
As of this moment, there appears to be no way to stop people from joining a community, so it would be easy enough for someone to join, pimp their content out, and then run. Don’t be that person.
Rule number one of doing business. Be helpful and trustworthy. Build a community, ask questions, provide answers, be the ‘go to authority’ in your niche within a Pinterest Community, and build your account that way! Build the trust, Build the relationships. And the rest will come.
Let me know in the comments how you feel about the new Pinterest Communities feature. Have you got it? Are you excited or daunted to use it?
A Quick Update
I’ve been using Pinterest Communities for the last two weeks and have loved interacting with my followers over there. We post photos that are inspiring us, discuss different topics within that primary niche and generally have a great chinwag.
To note, since using communities, I’ve been making a sale almost every day of my basics pattern making course. Is this because I am engaging more with the people in my community?
Pinterest does send you notifications of activity in your joined communities, so this could be helping to bring some of my followers back onto the platform each day.. which could in theory mean Pinterest is favouring showing certain relevant pins of mine to this audience perhaps? So may theories!
If you need help growing your followers on Pinterest, do pop over to read this post which provides tip to help you increase your Pinterest following the right way!