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Approach Pinterest Group Boards with Caution

In September 2012 Pinterest launched the group boards feature. This allows pinners to create a board and invite others to contribute to it. Sounds like a good idea right? However, if not approached with caution your group board can go from a nice intimate gathering to wild out of control party, pinner beware!

Approach Pinterest Group Boards with Caution

The process for creating a group board is very easy. It can be done with a new board or an existing board.

  • Find the board you would like to make a group board on your main account page.
  • Click the edit button at the bottom of the board
  • A box will pop up with an area that allows you to invite people to pin to that board
  • As you start to type in a name a drop-down list will appear of people to select from (you can invite anyone you follow)

Add people to your Pinterest group board

The people you invite to pin to your board will then see your invitation at the top right side of their home feed.

 Pinterest group board invitation list

Group boards have definitely grown in popularity over the past few months.  Aside from planning projects or events, bloggers and business owners have recognized that group boards are a way to make their pins more visible which can lead to more traffic and sales

Here’s an example:

  • I create a board and invite 10 friends to contribute to it.
  • When they join the board, everyone that begins to follow the board will see their pins and mine
  • When people find and follow the board on the contributors’ accounts, my pins are seen by the new followers which could lead to traffic back to my site

Sounds like a win-win situation right? It can be, when approached cautiously.

Caution:

When creating a group board keep in mind:

Pins that are pinned to newly created group boards will be visible to those who follow your entire account.  Since it is possible that only specific boards can be followed sometimes the number of followers of some boards is lower than others.  So, if you have a very popular board with a large following where you get a lot of repins, a newly created board with a lower number of followers might take time to grow in popularity.

When creating a group board take advantage of the board’s description area to set up guidelines for pining such as what kinds of pins or how many per day.

If you’d like to make your board open to requests to join you can also let people know how to contact you to request an invitation to the board in the description. Be sure to read below before sending the invitation.

Before inviting someone to pin to your board make sure you can rely on them to pin quality pins that are relavant to the topic.  If you don’t already have an existing relationship with them check out their account and their pins first.

  • Do they only promote their stuff?
  • Do their pins lead to the original source?
  • Does their content and audience fit inline with yours? 

Another reason to be careful of who you invite to your group boards is that they can invite others to join the group.

That nice sweet person that has lots of gorgeous high quality pins that you invited might not be as savvy as you and invite another pinner who has lots gorgeous pins that actually lead to a spam site.

Below is an example of the options I have when I click on the edit option for a group board I was invited to pin to. Notice that I can invite anyone I follow and that the person who invited me was not who invited the person listed beneath me.

Pinterest group board invitations list

When joining a group board keep in mind:

We all want to feel included and it’s great to be invited to things right? If you’re invited to a group board check it out first. You wouldn’t attend a party that your were invited to and take your customers with you with out checking things out first right?

In the example below, this group board has over 1290 contributors. If I accepted that invitation and even half of the people are just somewhat active in pinning to that board, I could expect to find my feed clogged with pins from this board.

Pinterest group board contributors numbers

I have found that most boards with a large number of contributors, that it quickly turns into an out of control spam fest. There was a time when my feed was clogged with hundreds of pins of women’s scarves for sale. Not cool!

If you join a group board your existing followers will not see what is pinned to that board. However, if they go to your main profile page with your boards listed they can choose to follow it there.

New followers of your entire account will not automatically follow the boards you were invited to contribute to. If someone finds the group board on your account and follows it, it is the creator of the board that gets the boost in follower numbers not you.

The creator of the borad is always the first image on the left side next to the number of contributors.

Find group board creator

If you come cross a nice, non spammy looking board and are interested in joining, don’t be afraid to reach out to the pinner. If the board’s description doesn’t offer a way to request an invite, you can comment on one of their pins or reach out to them on them on their site. If they have their Twitter or Facebook account linked, you can reach out to them that way too.

How to Find a Pinterest Group Board

Final thoughts

If you’re creating or joining a group board give it some thought first.  Does it fit into your Pinterest strategy? Will the content pinned to that board be interesting to your followers and attract new followers? Will it ultimately bring traffic back to your site?

If you find yourself in a bad situation, remember, you can always leave the board or remove pinners who abuse your hospitality. 

If approached carefully and with purpose, group boards can be a great way to build your community, bring fresh content to your followers and expose your content to potential new followers.

Do you participate in group boards? What have your experiences been?

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