If following others a good way to increase my own Pinterest followers? via @scalablesocial

Pinterest FAQ: Is Following Others a Good Way to Increase My Own Pinterest Followers?

We have this question from a Pinterest user: “So how does the following growth work? It seems that it’s not a “I follow you, you follow back” system like Twitter.”

Is following others a good way to increase my own Pinterest followers? via @scalablesocial http://scalablesocialmedia.com/2014/08/pinterest-more-followers/The first thing to clear up is that Twitter does not operate on an “I follow you, you follow back” system unless you want to always follow everyone who follows you, which is not a great idea, but is a subject for another post.  You always have a choice regarding which accounts you follow.

That said, the real question seems to be, “How can I get more Followers on Pinterest?” Let’s address the “follow-back” query first.

Is Following Others a Good Way to Increase My Own Pinterest Followers?

When someone follows you, you'll see the red "follow" button.Yes and no. When you follow someone, or you follow one of their boards, the pinner receives a notification by email (if they’ve opted in) and in their Pinterest notifications (see screen shot). Note that the red Follow button shows up only if you have followed all their boards, and if you were one of several to follow since they last checked notifications, the follow button only works for one of you.

This is one way to get someone’s attention! However, most seasoned pinners won’t hit the red “Follow” button just because it’s there. Unless I recognize the name, I click through to see who they are and what they pin. If the account looks interesting to me, I will follow either particular boards or (more rarely) the entire account.

Now that you have their attention, maybe, if you have boards that interest them, they may indeed follow you in return. That said, the best policy is to follow people because you want to see what they pin, not because you want to build your follower account.

More Ways to Get More Followers

Write Your Descriptions Carefully

Pinterest is turning in to a visual search engine. This doesn’t mean you need to get all crazy with the keywords and hashtags, though keywords are important. What it does mean, in part, is that you need to make sure that every single image you pin has a good, applicable description. If I’m searching for “How to build a deck” and your pin on that subject has the description of “:)” that is not going to help me find you. Pinterest does seem to be able to “see” what is in images, so you might still appear in a search, but why not give the right signals and increase your chances? If I find that you’re pinning all sorts of great information I need to build a deck, I’m going to follow you!

Pin Often and Well

One of the (many) nice things about Pinterest is the fact that unlike updates on Facebook or Twitter, pins have an extremely long shelf-life. In fact, pins you have added since the beginning of time are always discoverable in the search and in your boards themselves. Still, don’t let your account go stagnant, remain a valuable resource for new and interesting content and people will find and follow you. And remember, write good pin descriptions.

When you open a pin, you might notice below it that there are related boards and pins – to help you find more accounts and boards to follow and pins to repin. Increase your chances of being featured there and in related pin listings by having many, many great pins and boards.

Pinterest related boards and pins

Cater to the Popular – Sort of

We all know what’s popular on Pinterest. It’s easy to see if you just go to Popular! But what if your business has nothing to do with beauty, food, home, fashion, etc.? Could you find a way to make it apply? For example, if you are in the automobile industry, could you have a board for car-themed food or party ideas? How about furniture and decor for car lovers?

Get creative. Don’t stick so closely to your own products and services that your Pinterest boards become a big ugly catalog. Case in point. This morning I looked at a vintage car parts supplier’s boards, expecting to see some gorgeous vintage car photos. No. Not one. Instead? Four boards, each with images from their product catalog. What a lost opportunity! Give the people what they want. As they are exploring as people do on Pinterest, they may also see something they need – like your vintage car parts.

Join Group Pinterest Boards

When you join and participate in group boards, your pins achieve a much wider reach – being displayed to everyone who follows that board as well as your own followers. Members of that board may notice your great contributions and decide to follow you, or they may repin, which could lead to some of their followers finding and following you as well.

Get Credit for Your Pins

Consider adding your Pinterest username or your website URL to all the images you create for your own content. That way, if someone repins, even if they were to strip out the URL to your article (bad!) there is still a way for people to know who created that awesome pin.  If they love it enough, they will look you up and follow you.

Comment, Like, and Tag

There is not a whole lot of commenting going on on Pinterest yet. So, here’s a way you can stand out. If you see a pin you like and want to repin, make a comment on it. And don’t just say, “great pin!” Tell the pinner why you like it. You might also tell them that you’re repinning.

Pinterest mentions in notificationsWhen repinning, or when pinning from the site of a pinner you wish would follow you, tag them in the pin. For instance, if you are sharing a blog post he or she wrote, include “fabulous read from @scalablesocial” in your description. They will be notified that you mentioned them. This type of notification really stands out, so give it a try.

Forget Messaging

You can’t use Pinterest messaging to ask for a follow (no that you would anyway, right?) because both parties must already follow each other before either can message.

So, forget the “follow 10,000 accounts and hope they will follow back” approach. Implement as many of these practices as possible and you will soon see your follower count increasing daily!

Do you have other pinterest account growth tactics to share? Please do!


Article Name
Pinterest FAQ: Is Following Others a Good Way to Increase My Own Pinterest Followers?
Yes, and no! Plus, there are lots of other great ways to grow your following. We share six more ways to increase your Pinterest followers here.

About the Author Alisa Meredith (311 Posts)

As co-owner and chief inbound marketing consultant at Scalable Social Media, Alisa Meredith spends a lot of time keeping up with online marketing trends for the benefit of our customers. Computers have been a passion of hers since her first T1-99, so inbound and social media marketing is a natural fit.


  1. I have found that pinning a couple of things every couple of hours during the day when I’m online anyway has made a huge difference to my follower growth.

    Also I’m aware that if I pin ten pictures of similar things at once then some won’t like that. So I try to pin a variety of things to different boards rather than bulk pinning to one board all at once.

    Finally I cross promote my Pinterest boards by sharing the best of them on my blog, Facebook page and in my Weekly Newsletter

    • Alisa Meredith

      Hi Tonya! Thanks so much for stopping by to comment!

      That makes a lot of sense. Even though 2-4 and 8-10 might be “peak” times, lots of us take little Pinterest escapes throughout the day. Varying your content makes sense, too. Especially with more people following certain boards instead of entire accounts.

      Cross-promoting is an excellent way to get more of your existing fans and contacts to follow you. Thanks for adding that.

  2. What a timely post for my needs hehe. I agree that the follow/unfollow technique is not that efficient. It can grow your following little by little. Follow two hundred people who have boards in your niche and get 5 to follow you back, unfollow and such. Course you always have the worry you’ll get banned for the churn and burn.

    I’m taking a new approach with some of your awesome tips included such as when repinning, putting the person’s name in the board. I’ve never done that before.

    Do you have a post on the importance of likes on pins? Do likes matter? Do they help with making your board more viewable in the search? Or do they not matter at all?

  3. I’m gone to inform my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this weblog on regular basis to get updated from most up-to-date

  4. Zoe M

    I’m wondering if they can see locked boards?

Leave a Comment

Awesome! You've decided to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

XHTML: You can use these tags: