Before I get into the details about how group boards’ work and why businesses should jump on them, there’s something you need to know because I think it will help you in the future.
You see one of my jobs as a Pinterest consultant is to make sure I’m on top of any changes that might affect your performance on your Pinterest account. If you’re having account issues it’s almost impossible to get immediate help from Pinterest. They are a small team and with the constant tweaking and changes they are doing to enhance your experience (as they would say) they have no time for immediate customer support. So the glitches will be with us for a while. And then there will be new changes with new glitches and on it goes.
So I routinely go to the Help Center to check on any new changes they might have made but as you can see they don’t update the actual date! It would be nice if they actually said something like “recent changes to group boards as of Aug…” You get my drift? Having the January 24 date implies that’s the latest update. The lesson? Don’t assume they are up to date. Ignore the date and read on.
So after several weeks of feeling slightly frustrated about the group boards not working as they used to I emailed them through the Help Center and after some back and forth with their email server this is the email I finally received from Lauren.
So let’s dive into what you need to know about group boards. As a small business owner I’m all about finding ways to be as efficient and effective as possible when putting my time into anything including when I’m on Pinterest. One of the ways to do that is by being part of group boards. There are pros and cons.
Here’s what you’ll learn today:
What is a group board?
What are board contributors?
What does a group board look like?
What are the key benefits for your business?
Who should I invite to contribute?
Guidelines for your board contributors.
How to create a group board?
How do you add board contributors?
What does a group board invitation look like?
What control do I have over my group board that others do not?
How do I block a pinner from a group board?
How do I remove a pinner from a group board?
How do I delete a pin from a group board I created?
What happens when I accept a group board invitation?
What to do when you’re getting too many emails about board contributors pinning activities?
Different ways your business can use group boards effectively.
Why you need to manage and monitor your group boards?
Why you shouldn’t accept every group board invitation?
What to do with spam?
How to leave a group board?
1. What is a group board?
A group board is a board that you and others you invite, can all pin to.
2. What are board contributors?
Board contributors are Pinterest users who are allowed to pin on a specific board. Board contributors are also referred to as:
3. What does a group board look like?
You will see a symbol of a group of people next to the board title.
4. What are the key benefits for your business?
increased exposure & visibility
increases the number of followers
it brings people together creating a sense of community
you have others contributing content which saves you time and energy
you elevate the pinners to the role of brand ambassadors which their followers will take note of
gives you insight to what consumers want & need by analyzing which images followers engage with the most
helps you determine future marketing initiatives and product development
helps makes your brand appear more approachable
5. Who should I invite to contribute?
Naturally you want to get in front of as many potential customers as possible so here are some places to start with:
staff and everyone else in your company
reach out to bloggers in your industry
your email contacts and other social networks
Pinterest users that have large followers
6. Guidelines for board contributors
Make sure you fill in the board “Description”. You have space for 500 characters which is ample! Include the following as best you can:
a friendly welcome message
state the benefits of being a contributor
explain what pins are allowed
remind them there is no spamming or pinning of unrelated content
encourage them to invite their friends to be contributors
your email address if someone wants to added to your group board
set concise guidelines for appropriate content
7. How to create a group board
Creating a group board is no different from creating a board. The only difference is that once you invite a Pinterest user to the group board and they accept your invitation, it automatically becomes a group board.
8. How to add board contributors
NEW RULES as of July 26, 2013! A Pinterest user must follow at least one of your boards in order for you to invite them. The old way was the other way around. Here are the steps:
Go to the board and click Edit
Enter the first and last name (or email address) of the invitee under Who can pin?
Click his/her name once it loads
Repeat for any other people you’d like to add
Click Save Changes
If you want to seriously fail with your Pinterest group board here’s a great example. Why in the heck would you start inviting pinners when you’re not set up properly? Pleazzzzz do not do this! C’mon – this is your effort…three images??? It’s like being invited to a party and this is how you wow your guests?
9. What does a group board invitation look like and where do we find it?
Once a Pinterest user invites you, expect to receive an email from Pinterest. Here’s an example of what I received when a Pinterest user who invited me to pin to their “Fitness” board.
Let’s stop and think about this for a minute. Look at the exposure this person receives when the recipient receives this email. The red arrow shows the profile picture and their name! Double exposure! If they had a better profile pic it would have been better but I think you know the point I’m trying to make here.
Sure the criteria are that I would have had to follow them first but do you know how many people I have followed and soon forgotten? I can’t possibly remember the thousands of people I have followed! This is a great reminder to take notice of this person! Imagine if it was your business logo and your business name here.
The invitation will also show up under “Notifications”. To accept a group board invitation you simply click “Accept” and if you decide it’s not a good fit for you click on “Decline”.
When a Pinterest user accepts your invitation Pinterest will send you an email. Here’s an example of a Pinterest user that accepted my invitation.
10. What do I have control over my group board that the others do not?
As the creator of a group board, only you will be able to:
Change the board’s title
Change the board’s description
Remove pinners from the board (the people you invite can remove themselves)
Delete any pin on the board
Block pinners that have been invited
11. How do I block a pinner from a group board I created?
If you have noticed a pinner that doesn’t match your creative style or maybe they are continuing to spam after you have warned them you can block them. Blocking removes all of the pins the person added, people they invited, and any pins those people pinned. Here’s how to block a pinner:
Go to the board and click Edit
Search for their name. This might take a while depending on how many you’ve invited. Use the grey scroll bar (see “a”) to see the list of names. Once you find the name click “Remove” (see “b”).
This pop up will show up and click the box where the red arrow is pointing, then click “Block Pinner”.
12) How do I remove a pinner from my group board?
Go to the board and click Edit
Search for their name. Use the grey scroll bar (see “a”) to see the list of names. Once you find the name click “Remove” (see “b”).
You can remove anyone that you invited, even if you don’t own the board.
They are not notified that they have been removed. Thank goodness for this one! If you’re using Facebook you know they have “unfriend” button. Pinterest is more subtle which is good because there’s no point hurting someone’s feelings.
The pinner’s old pins will remain on the board. If the person wants to delete them, he’ll/she’ll have to edit and delete them one by one.
13) How do I delete a pin from a group board I created?
You will definitely come across some pins that you may want to remove. This might be pinners spamming, the same images pinned several times, or images that don’t fit your requirements or style. A Pinterest user who pinned an image to your board will also have the ability to remove their pin from your board as well. Here’s how to delete a pin:
- Hover over the pin you want to delete
- Click the pencil icon on the right corner of the image
- Click “Delete Pin”
Note: You can’t edit another pinner’s pin on your group board – you can only delete it.
14) What happens when I accept a group board invitation?
Once you accept a group board invitation you will see all the pins that are currently on that board.
Any new pins that pinners add to the group will appear on your Pinterest feed.
When you follow a group board that board will automatically go on your Pinterest page as one of your boards. They are positioned on the very bottom of your page (see #18).
15) What do you do when you’re getting too many emails about your board contributors pinning activities.
Here’s an example of an email you will receive from Pinterest when someone pins on your group board.
Some groups can literally have thousands of contributors and every time they pin you will get an email notification. To avoid email overload follow these steps:
a. Go to “Settings”
b. Click “Email Notifications” and click “See group board email settings”
c. If you don’t want to get email notifications every time someone pins on your group board make sure the slider shows “No”. If you’re slider shows “Yes” this means you want to be notified.
16. Different ways your business can use group boards effectively
Collaboration: create a board if you’re working with other people (employees, co-workers) on a specific project. Here’s an example of how one of Sephora’s location used it to share with other “cast members” (co-workers) to share their ideas launching new seasonal products.
Planning: this is a no brainer for interior decorators. Invite the stakeholders to join your group board to pin images of their favorite furniture, room layout, design, colour themes, etc.
Focus group: ask your customers to pin images of products and services they would like you to add or share their favorite products. This gives the retailer an insight what they’re customers love which will gives them an insight with what inventory to carry.
Promotion: ask your employees and customers to give you ideas on the types of contests to run and suggestions for prizes.
Trends: By collaborating with other pinners it will introduce a variety of new content to your followers. Don’t be afraid to get creative and relate group boards back to a holiday or trend. Here’s an example of an Easter board to engage their followers and get into the holiday spirit!
17. Why you need to manage and monitor your group boards
You will have several board contributors that will spam, pin unrelated content to your board, pin the same images despite the guidelines you have on your description. Some won’t even read your guidelines and go on a pinning frenzy! Because of this you need to monitor your group boards to make sure you remove the pins that don’t belong there. That’s because future board contributors will take notice that you’re not paying attention. Here’s an example of the same image shown twice from a group board.
Here’s an obvious spam below! What the heck does this dress have anything to do with this board? The first image is a Chanel dress! The first few images are what will show up when they get an invitation. If you got an invitation to this board wouldn’t it confuse you because there’s pins on there that are unrelated?
The lesson: monitor your group boards as often as possible.
18. Why you shouldn’t accept every group board invitation
The coolest thing about accepting a board invitation is that you instantly gain more followers. The numbers won’t show up under “Followers” but technically you have new exposure to new followers (see red arrow below) instantly!
There’s also something else you need to consider. If you’ve been invited to a group board be selective. As a business you want to make sure that the theme of the group board compliments your overall content strategy. Group boards are a reflection of your brand image so be very mindful of that.
You also want to make sure that the cover board is in harmony with your overall design. If it isn’t then I would suggest you position those group boards on the bottom of your Pinterest page as shown on the photo below.
19. What to do with spams
If you’re the board creator you can delete any pins from your board.
If you are board a contributor and you come across any inappropriate pins or any spamming activities you can advise the board creator by commenting on the actual pin.
20. How to leave a group board.
Go to the board and click Edit
Look for your name and click Leave, then Save Changes
The board will be removed from your Pinterest page
What has been your experience with group boards? What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so please post your comment below.