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How to Get Followers on Pinterest – The Latest Best Practices

Image of colorful blocks with people icons with the text: How to Get More Followers on PinterestFor years, I’ve answered the question, “How can I get more followers on Pinterest?” with reassurances not to worry about it – you don’t need a lot of followers to get great results from Pinterest. This is still true! However, recent developments in Pinterest’s best practices reveal that our followers are more important to our success than some of us realized.

Let’s take a look at what changed, what Pinterest has shared with us, how it affects you, and how you can use this in your favor.

What’s Old Is New Again – The Pinterest Following Tab

Long-time Pinterest users remember the days when the Pinterest feed showed us all the Pins from the people we followed in the order in which they were Pinned. As the quantity of content began to grow on Pinterest (2 million daily Pinners!), Pinterest needed a way to prioritize what we saw for a better user experience.

So, our home feeds became a Smartfeed – a mix of Pins from people we follow, Pins Pinterest thinks we will enjoy, and of course, ads (yep, Pinterest needs to make money!). While the Smartfeed served the purpose of helping us discover new ideas and new Pinners, many longed for the old days.

And, they’re back! In late March, Pinterest announce that the Following Tab (spotted by some early and enthusiastic test subjects for months) would now be rolled out to all users. Would that mean followers would become more important on Pinterest again? It sure seems so! More on that in a moment.

First though, let’s look at the new Following Tab.

What I noticed in looking at my own feed is that I’ve been doing a lot of indiscriminate following over the years since Smartfeed came out. My Following Tab doesn’t feel very curated, and I’m about to unfollow a whole slew of Pinners . But first,

What Pinterest Says About Why Followers Matter

It’s important to note that we are not talking about the NUMBER of followers. What is important is the level of engagement of your followers.

Check out this quote from Pinterest’s “Set Yourself up for Success” Page:

We distribute your content to your followers first to figure out what’s resonating. From there, we distribute your best performing Pins to other people who are looking for ideas like yours.

While no one likes to see follower counts drop, if this happens to you, this is likely a good thing! You only want followers who will engage with your Pins – which tells Pinterest they should be sharing your content out faster and more widely. And don’t worry if you lose unengaged followers! Click to Tweet!

How to Get Followers on Pinterest – Engaged followers, that is!

As people begin again to curate a feed of Pins from Pinners they love, and their engagement becomes a factor in your success, make sure you can be found by Pinners who will engage with your Pins and become a Pinner that Pinners love to engage with! Here’s how.

Attract Followers with Your Pinterest Profile

Have you ever searched Pinterest for people instead of individual Pins? Give it a try! Go to the search bar and enter a phrase, such as “public speaking,” and then filter by “People.”

Search for People on Pinterest

What do you see? Most of the people featured include the phrase, “public speaking” in their business name. Think about which one phrase is most important for you and include that in your business name. Hover over your avatar in the upper-right corner on Pinterest and click on Settings > Profile to change.

You can bet more people will use this feature as they start to curate a feed they love.

The next thing you’ll check out as you’re evaluating potential “public speaking” Pinners to follow will be their profile description or “About You” section. You’ll be looking for reassurance that yes, they will be Pinning about public speaking. Further, you’d probably be more likely to follow if they can provide some information about why they are a trusted resource. So, in looking at your “About You” section, do you reiterate what you Pin and why I should be confident in your expertise in this area? If not, go to Settings > Profile and make a change. I’m going to change mine now. 🙂

Your Showcase or Featured Boards should also accurately depict what you Pin and what you want people to know about you first. For my account, I feature two boards – my board with all the articles I have written and my Promoted Pins board. These are the two boards that best represent what I do. If yours don’t do that, change yours here.

You can also rearrange your boards on your profile to put the most important and relevant at the top.

Attract Pinterest Followers with Your Boards.

Pinners can also filter search results by boards. Especially as we want more and more control over our Following Feed, many will opt to follow individual boards rather than entire accounts. Why? Well, a Pinner may have a really great board on “public speaking,” but also Pin funny memes that I don’t need to see in my feed. Who am I kidding? Who doesn’t like funny memes? But you get my point. 🙂

Search for boards on Pinterest

Make sure to use relevant keywords in your board titles and descriptions. And make sure what is Pinned to the boards is relevant. In theory, would a person finding your board want to Pin every Pin on your Public Speaking board to their own? PS – Don’t ever do that – it’s very bad form to “steal” a curated board Pin by Pin. Instead, build up your boards thoughtfully and over time, creating a unique resource worth following.

Attract Followers with Every Pin

A Pinterest Pin showing the Pinner

Most of the activity on Pinterest happens in search. Use search behavior to get more followers, too!

Every Pin you share is a reflection of you as a Pinner. So, aim for quality over quantity. Looking at a Pin closeup here, we can see that Sandra Roggow saved this Pin to her Public Speaking board.

If I really like her Pin, I might check out her profile, or her board. If I follow her, Sandra has a new follower who is likely to engage with her Pins, which, as you’ll recall, sends Pinterest a signal to share that Pin out more.

This may or may not be a Pin from Sandra’s site. If it doesn’t, our following and engaging  doesn’t give her more website traffic directly, BUT, it does mean we are now going to see Pins of her OWN content that end up on that board as well. That’s where the traffic comes in.

So, make sure you are only Pinning great content and spend some time on the descriptions and hashtags. Is it OK to change a Pin description, though? Sure it is! A well-written description will get more exposure for this Pin, more engagement, leading to more traffic for the content author.

When it comes to your own Pins, create beautiful, actionable Pins that inspire engagement. As you and others share them, Pinners will get to your website where they should find many other opportunities to follow you.

While there are many ways to grow your Pinterest followers, what you Pin and when may be the most important. As Pinterest says,

We’ll do most of the work for you by recommending you as someone to follow for Pinners interested in your content….. Consistent, daily activity is better than a once a week flurry. We suggest saving 10-12 Pins per day, instead of 70 Pins once a week.

But no one really has time to figure out the best times to Pin to reach your followers when they’re likely to engage – or to be online to Pin manually at those times! That’s part of the reason why over 100 thousand Pinners count on Tailwind to do it for them. The Smartschedule does just that – analyzes your Pins and followers and suggests the best times to Pin. Once your schedule is created, just schedule your Pins and Tailwind will add them in to your optimized time slots. No credit card required!

Use Your Website to Get More Pinterest Followers

Pinterest follow widgetMake it easy! Add the Pinterest “Follow” button to your website. Your sidebar, header, or footer are great options as they make following from any page on your site a breeze.

Pinterest Profile Widget

Add the Profile widget to give people a preview of your Pinterest account right on your website – and an easy way to follow! This could go in your sidebar, footer, or on a contact page.

You can also use a mobile-friendly plugin such as MiloTree to encourage blog visitors to follow you. You can even use your custom colors and access powerful analytics.

The MiloTree plugin is an eye-catching, quick-loading, and customizable way to get more Pinterest followers.

Use Social Media and Email to Get More Pinterest Followers

From time to time, remind your followers on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat – anywhere, really – that you are on Pinterest. Share a popular Pin or a timely board and encourage people to follow. If they like you on one platform, they may LOVE you on Pinterest!

I recently had a chat with Cara and C.J. from My Haute Society about Pinterest and they had a great idea – link to your Pinterest account from your Instagram stories from time to time. Since this only works if you have at least ten thousand followers, the rest of us can just share a story and mention our Pinterest username or add it to the story in text form. Clever!

Use Pinterest Pincodes

PincodeIf you do a lot of in-person networking, consider adding your Pin code to your business card or brochures. Just make sure the printed version is at least 1.5″ square for dependable scan-ability.

You can create a Pincode for your profile or a single board – and you can even choose the featured Pin. Pinners scan a Pincode using Pinterest’s camera and can easily follow from there. While this take a bit of one-on-one interaction, the followers you gain may be highly engaged with your content. Here’s a Pincode for one board.

Wise Use of Group Boards Can Attract New Followers

Group boards can be incredibly effective for gaining new Pinterest followers. When you join and Pin to a group board, your Pins can appear in the home feed of people who don’t follow you, but who DO follow other members of the group board – extending your reach.

Because we need to be concerned about engaged followers, it is important to join relevant group boards that share out great content. Check your Tailwind Board Insights and make sure your group boards are still working for you.

Follow Others on Pinterest

This is something I used to do on a regular basis – check out people who followed me and follow back any people (or maybe just one board) when they looked interesting. I suggest it’s time to bring this back!

Aside from simply reacting to people who follow me, I’ll also search Pinterest for interesting Pinners and look at who might follow others in my industry. This will help me curate a fabulous following feed, but may also encourage them to follow me in return. By following with purpose, that is, only following people or boards relevant to my business, I may attract more engaged followers in return.

And remember why this is important, according to Pinterest:

We distribute your content to your followers first to figure out what’s resonating. From there, we distribute your best performing Pins to other people who are looking for ideas like yours.

What About My Existing Pinterest Followers?

Maybe like me, you’re pretty far along in your Pinterest journey. I’ve taken my account from a personal account to a business account to a business account with a bunch of personal boards. There has been more testing than strategy – and it shows.

For a while I Pinned many recipes and workouts publicly and I attracted followers who were interested in those topics, and not interested in my marketing Pins. So, when Pinterest shares my Pins to my followers, the lack of engagement is sending Pinterest a signal that my content isn’t resonating. Not good.

I could go through my followers and remove anyone who looked like they might be more interested in Ketogenic dessert recipes than in Pinterest ad articles, but I’d have to block them, and that just doesn’t seem like a very nice thing to do. After all, they might be doing Keto AND enjoy reading about Pinterest ads. Further, my time is better spent creating new content to Pin.

What I plan to do instead is implement the strategies in this article to attract followers who really ARE interested in Pins related to my topic. Eventually the engaged group should outnumber the unengaged and I should see the results improve.

In Conclusion

We applaud Pinterest for listening to their users and not only providing the much-requested Following Tab, but also some updated best practices for content creators. These additions are going to make us all better Pinterest marketers and happier Pinterest users! To recap, the Pinterest Following Tab and revelations on the impact of follower activity makes gaining engaged followers more important.

How to Get Followers on Pinterest:

  • Update your Pinterest profile to reflect what’s important to you.
  • Be strategic about Pinterest board creation.
  • Pin smarter – every Pin should attract new followers.
  • Make good use of your website to draw in those who already love your content.
  • Use social media and email to spread awareness of your Pinterest presence.
  • Consider using Pincodes for in-person promotion of your Pinterest account.
  • Join and contribute to relevant group boards.

Next steps: Attract new Pinterest followers and engage your existing followers with thoughtful, purposeful Pinning and the strategies above. Spend your time creating and curating great content and leave the scheduling to Tailwind.

📌 Pin me:

Image of colorful blocks with people icons with the text: How to Get More Followers on Pinterest


  1. Avatar

    Thank you so much Alisa!

    I am always on the hunt for the best new Pinterest Strategies and Updates and this is an interesting development!

    It makes total sense to focus on followers which are targeted to your business, however, I truly hope this will not turn into yet another hunt for subscriber alone!

    I know that myself and a lot of my followers are struggling daily trying to grow their following on Instagram and social media overwhelm is real! So I guess time will tell 😉

    Thank you so much for this amazing and informative article!!! xx Katie

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      Hi, Katie! It IS interesting! I’m so glad Pinterest shared all this with us. Hopefully people will keep in mind that it is ENGAGED followers that matter, not a vast number of followers. So glad it was useful to you – and thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment. Much appreciated!

  2. Avatar

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

    It’s going to be interesting to see what will happen with the numbers of views we’ll get after the update.

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      You’re welcome, Kim! Things are always changing! ~Alisa

  3. Avatar

    I have been working on growing my followers, in the past I used to participate in follow threads on Facebook but discovered pinning frequently to drive more followers. This post even gives me more ways to increase my followers. Thanks for sharing.

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      I’m so glad it was helpful to you! If you keep Pinning strategically, it will happen! Thanks for stopping by, John. ~ Alisa

  4. Avatar

    Thank you Alisa! You reminded me how important it is to keep up with Pinterest’s business page. I listened to you and Kate on the podcast today and took away some really good actionable advice.

    I agree with you 100%, followers do matter with this new change. I’m a Pinterest strategist myself and recently started offering a “Follow Campaign” for small businesses I work with. I stress the importance of organically following pinners using the Interests tab in Pinterest analytics the best results. Currently, I’ve not found an automation tool that offers this functionality. I’ve seen a 10-15% return in niche-specific followers since giving it a trial run in late March.

    Love your strategies and see you around on Pinterest!

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      You’re welcome! Yes, there are some really useful references!

      It’s great to hear you are having those results by working authentically. Pinterest doesn’t allow partner tools to do auto follow and unfollow, so your way is best!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! ~ Alisa

  5. Avatar

    Fantastic article Alisa! Lots of food for thought. I really didn’t think the follower feed would make much difference because the average user doesn’t tend to find content that way. But you’ve brought up a lot of great points! I’ll be keeping an eye on things. Always easy with Tailwind!

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      Thank you! I think you’re right – the average user may not. Time will tell! But, the need to have engaged followers has huge implications. It’s something we kind of all knew, but to spell it out like this is a great reminder to us all to be real and focus on quality over quantity. Thanks for stopping by! ~ Alisa

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      You’re welcome – I’m glad it was useful to you, Tad!

  6. Avatar

    I have the account and profile on the blog name. only 2 followers also following only 2. Is it better to discontinue blog name account and use the personal account?

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      Hi! Do you have a personal account with a lot of followers who are engaging with your business topic? If so, you could convert that to a business account, adapt your strategy, clean up your boards, and use that instead. Otherwise, just keep going with your small account. You definitely should be using a business account.

  7. Alisa Meredith
    Alisa MeredithModerator

    This is a question I have struggled with as well, Gillian!

    I have set all my personal-interest boards to secret so that I can continue to indulge my own obsessions 🙂 but it doesn’t dilute my business Pins. This will continue to be my method going forward as I really don’t want people following me for things like “keto desserts” because they will not be engaging with my marketing Pins.

    As for separate accounts, I think that’s more trouble than it’s worth when you can just use secret boards for your own non-business interests. Hope that helps!!

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