Why “following back” on Pinterest is a terrible idea

Why Following Back on Pinterest is a TERRIBLE idea, and what to do instead.

I don’t mean to rant, but what is the deal with “follow backs” on Pinterest?

I see it more and more lately as people start turning to Pinterest as a marketing platform – instead of just their Thursday night dinner inspiration.

“I follow back!”

I see it ALLL the time in various facebook groups when someone plunks down their Pinterest URL on a social share thread.

Ugh! For the love of all that is good and holy STOP using the follow back method on Pinterest!

stop treating pinterest like instagram

It’s not the same, it doesn’t work the same, and the follow back method is going to HURT your Pinterest experience and end up causing you a TON of frustration and wasted time.

Here’s the deal:

Pinterest has this thing called a Smart Feed. This smart feed learns your pinning habits, your search habits, and looks at who and what you follow on Pinterest to bring together a nice little collection of pins that you might be interested in, each and every time you visit and in real time as you use Pinterest.

When you blindly follow people back, with no other justification than because they followed you, you are throwing a giant wrench into the whole purpose of the smart feed.

Not only that, but you are actively making it HARDER for you to find content to repin on your own boards that is RELEVANT to your target audience.

Because the whole idea, for business owners and bloggers and anyone who is concerned with getting traffic to their website via Pinterest, is to pin content to your boards that is interesting to your target audience.

What happens when you “follow back”, just because, and without determining if their content is indeed valuable to you as repin content, is you introduce non-relevant content into your smart feed.

Over time as you continue to follow irrelevant accounts and boards, your smart feed becomes entirely useless, full of content you don’t really care about and that your audience won’t care about either.

You should ONLY follow accounts or boards that provide good content that you want to repin for your audience. In this way you will cultivate a smart feed that is relevant and useful.

So when you go to fill up your pin scheduling tool each week (or your secret boards if you are following my recommended Board Booster strategy), it will be super super easy to find content.

So don’t follow back.

If you’ve been following back, I recommend unfollowing 10  irrelevant accounts a week until you get through all of the accounts you follow, so that you’re only left with the ones that provide value to you.

And absolutely don’t do the follow unfollow thing. That’s just gross.
xoxo
If you’re struggling to figure out who your target audience/market is and how to reach them on Pinterest, the Resource Library is for you! In it you’ll find a pdf worksheet to help you define your target audience and lots and lots of video tutorials for how to uplevel your Pinterest strategy so you actually reach your audience! 

 

Stop treating Pinterest like Instagram! Why you SHOULDN'T be following people back!
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Marissa is a self-proclaimed Pinterest addict. She lives in a small town just outside Louisville, Ky with her husband, 1-2 kids (depending on the time of year), and their Australian Blue Heeler. Outside of her Pinterest passion, she enjoys all things autumn, getting lost in good books, and exploring the city. She is always looking for new places and spaces to experience!