Did you take a stab at Pinterest for your business in 2014? Did several months go by and before you knew it you ended up ignoring your account because you simply didn’t have the time or the know- how? Well, you are not alone. I often see many accounts get stranded or operating the wrong way.

You were probably thinking that on Pinterest you’ll just pin a bunch of pretty pictures and voila you’re done! Oh my! That is the first colossal mistake you’re making.

Like I tell my clients all the social media platforms have their own tricks of the trade meaning you have to understand how differently they all operate and how to excel in each one. Pinterest in particular is very scientific.

Pinterest was born later than the other two majors in March 2010 so it’s safe to say that you most likely have a Facebook page or a Twitter account already set up for your business. With the constant changes that you need to keep up on for those two platforms it’s no wonder you’re feeling that you really don’t need or have time for another social platform. I get that.

All businesses want more eyeballs on their website. Pinterest can deliver those eyeballs. Did you know that…?

  • Research from the Global Web Index notes that Pinterest took the lead with 57% growth in members.
  • Pinterest is now the second-largest social media network after Facebook.

  • Pinterest accounts for 90% of social media shares on the web.
  • Pinterest accounts for nearly 25 percent of all social sharing, and according to new data from Shareaholic, traffic referrals grew 48 percent from December 2013.

Those stats are pretty amazing considering Facebook is six years older than Pinterest. If you’re looking for several more stats on why you should leverage Pinterest into your marketing mix this year, click here. Bottom line is whether you’re a B2B or B2C you can have tremendous success on Pinterest. Unfortunately I am seeing too many common mistakes being made over and over on Pinterest. As a result they have set themselves up to fail from the get-go.

Here are the other six mistakes, please avoid making them.

1.) A lack knowledge about your target audience

You need to know who your target market is. The key to winning the hearts of your potential customers is to offer value.

Ask yourself:

Who are my customers?

What do they need and want?

What solutions can I offer to help them solve their concerns or problems?

2.) No source links and/or expired pages

Many businesses are looking for advanced strategies when they haven’t even set-up their account properly. Missing any steps in creating a solid Pinterest foundation will back fire on you. For example, I’ve regularly have to clean up my client’s accounts before we can start pinning because of several colossal mistakes they’ve inadvertently made. For example, you want to make sure your pins aren’t going to deleted or linked to expired pages or worse have no links at all. Those 404 errors will actually hurt how your Pinterest account ranks on Pinterest’s search engine.

3.) Not pinning enough

Not pinning enough is another colossal mistake that I see being made often. I see Pinterest pages that haven’t been updated in months. The holiday season is done so why are you keeping those Christmas boards prominently featured on your page?

If you’re just starting out on Pinterest I recommend you pin at least 14 images per day for the next three months. This is what you need to do to jump start your account. I don’t expect you to sit in front of your computer all day so batch your work by scheduling some of your pins ahead of time. I highly recommend Robovy’s Pinterest scheduling tool. They have a 14 day free trial and don’t require a credit card which I love!

4.) Not enough helpful pins

Your Pinterest page is not there to continually blast out images of your products and services. It’s about finding creative ways to show them off indirectly. I see many Pinterest accounts do nothing but pin images about their company and take the approach that “it’s all about me”. They are too direct.

Think of it this way – success on Pinterest in about being indirect, not direct. Being direct is doing nothing but posting images about your company and what you have to sell. Being indirect is offering helpful ideas, tips and checklists that relate to your target audience’s wants, needs, goals and problems. Success on Pinterest requires you to be indirect with 80% of your pins and direct with the other 20%.

5.) No board descriptions

Pinterest allows you up to 500 characters to fill out your board descriptions. This is your chance to show other pinners your personality through your writing style. In addition, to take advantage of keywords to increase your SEO power which increases your chances of being found.

So you’re probably wondering…what the heck do you mean Anna by “keywords”?

Let’s say you want to rank high under the keywords “sports bra”. When you type those words into Pinterest’s search engine the Guided Search tool will show you keywords related to that word. It’s in your best interest to add relevant keywords to your board descriptions to rank higher on Pinterest’s search engine. That is what search engine optimisation (SEO) is all about. The higher you rank the more people see you and the more people visit your website.

6.) Not enough images on your boards

One thing that drives me a little crazy is when I see several boards that only have one image on them. Having one image on a board is just plain unattractive and just plain bad, bad, bad business. It’s kind of like seeing one shirt on a rack. If you were shopping would you be excited to see one piece of clothing on a rack? For most people, likely not. You wouldn’t want to open your shop when you have no inventory to sell.

If you’re a business owner you are on Pinterest for a reason – to build followers and to get more people going to your website to buy. So make sure you have a minimum of 10 images on each board so it looks appealing to the Pinterest user. Pinterest success is about having amazing images (of course it’s not just about that but it’s the starting point). Your goal is to attract as many followers as possible through the images you pin. So if there’s nothing there then you can’t expect them to check you out.

7.) Don’t know how to use Pinterest

When brands, business, bloggers and marketers first come to me I often hear the same thing over and over. They know Pinterest is important but don’t know how it works, what content to create, they don’t have the right person on their marketing team to run their Pinterest account and so forth.

What most people do is think that by reading every blog and article out there about Pinterest that they will be able to master Pinterest themselves. If you have all the time in the world and don’t care if you miss sales in the meantime then great, I say keep doing it.

But ask yourself; is that really the best use of your time? Why reinvent the wheel when someone has already figured it out for you? That’s the reason why I created the Pinterest Marketing for Business self- study video course. Like I said from the beginning of this post, Pinterest makes changes all the time and if you’re not keeping up to date with the changes you risk getting your account shut down. It’s scary but it happens. I’ve seen it and it’s unfortunate because unfortunately not knowing the rules comes with a hefty price.

If you seriously want to succeed in Pinterest contact me about my Pinterest management services, one on one coaching or to learn more about my Pinterest Marketing Course for Business.

So there you have it! Don’t make these colossal Pinterest marketing mistakes on your page in 2015. If you’ve made some of these mistakes in the past, don’t worry, you can still redeem yourself by doing it right going forward.

What do you think? What other mistakes do you see other people making? Let me know in the comments section below.