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How to Increase Pinterest Engagement in 2021 (Original Data Study)!

Finding what works on Pinterest can feel like chasing a moving target. What we need more than anything else right now is data – and oh, do we have data!

Let’s have a look at what is increasing saves on Pins today.

What We Learn From High-Performing Pins

We looked at all Pins Saved or Created on Pinterest in January 2021 and identified several hundred with over 5,000 saves (formerly called repins). This included Pins our members shared via Tailwind, directly on Pinterest, and by any other method. In these studies, we report on saves rather than impressions or clicks.

Make note of any action items that you can implement today!

A note about the terminology: “Create” = the first time you share an image on Pinterest (formerly, Pin). “Save” = any time an image is saved again (formerly, repin). In most cases below, “engagement” = saves – an indication that people are engaging with and helping increase the distribution of your content.

New Images Generate More Engagement

Accounts averaging 20 saves or more per Pin are Pinning more original content (creates) than saves (repins). Of the January 2021 Pins we looked at with over 5,000 saves, only 18% were saves themselves.

In a November 2020 study of over 160K Pins across 1,500 accounts over 16 weeks, we found that original creates (that FIRST TIME an image goes out) account for the vast majority of the saves you’ll get on your Pins.

For all new Pins published via Tailwind in January 2021, new Pin Creates received 3.6x as many repins as Saves of existing Pins.

Action Items

The BEST thing you can do is to create the most inspirational, engaging new content you’ve ever made for your blog, site, or store, and Pin that. Creating a few images for that fabulous new content will help you get that content to a broader audience.

The SECOND BEST thing you can do is to create new images for your existing content. In another study we ran of Pins published in July through October of 2020, we found that Pin engagement starts to drop off about 60 days after publish.

Why not create new, seasonal, timely images for your still-relevant content. Make sure your images look fresh and new. Beyond that, could you reach an entirely new audience with a subtle shift in your content focus? Learn more about getting more from your content here (hint: it’s a simple formula with lots of options for everyone).

PRO TIP!!! For Pins saved via Tailwind in January 2021, making and sharing Pins with Tailwind Create resulted in 373% more saves than did resharing existing content.

Here at Tailwind, we’re taking our own advice! We have professional designers who create beautiful images for our content, but lately, the Pins bringing in the most engagement are the ones I made in Tailwind Create in just a few minutes! Here’s one that does very well for us:



Video Pins Are Highly Engaging

We looked at several million Pins saved in January 2021 and pulled out those with over 5,000 shares (formerly called repins). We found that of the several hundred we’ve analyzed so far, 30% are video Pins.

What the vast majority have in common is that they show the viewer how to do something, usually in a step-by-step or demonstration format.

Many are TikTok videos, perfectly sized for repurposing on Pinterest. Fitness and Craft videos dominated the top spots.

Action Items

Try video Pins! Check out a recent Facebook Live where Kate of Wave.video showed us how to make some very simple videos. Record your own step-by-step videos and make them truly useful. They do NOT have to be expertly produced to succeed.

Pins With Many Saves Feature Reactions, Comments, and Photos

Of January 2021 Pins earning over 5,000 saves, 89% of them had some combination of reactions (Stories and videos only), comments, and photos. Are they getting more reactions, comments, and photos because they have been saved so many times? Or are those other signals helping increase distributions and therefore, saves?

It’s not totally clear which comes first here. Though Pinterest does take engagement signals (especially from your followers) into account when determining distribution, so it seems likely that engagements like this create a positive feedback loop – boosting your distribution and saves.

This video has a combination of reactions, comments, and photos – all strong signals to Pinterest that this is quality content that should be distributed.



Action Items

Make your Pins worth reacting to – or worth a comment or photo! The Pins we’re seeing with this kind of engagement are for the most part how-to videos or beautiful travel and fashion photos. Show your product in use in unconventional ways and invite people to try it and share their results.

The #1 most-shared Pin is a how-to craft video with 20,000 reactions, 25 photos, and 45 comments! Not every industry can expect comments and photo uploads on their Pins. Recipes, fashion, and beauty images are the most prevalent in this group.

Try sharing your Pinterest content with your engaged email audience. Suggest they try out your ideas and leave a comment or photo if they do.

What We Learn From High-Performing Pinterest Accounts

More Followers = More Pinterest Engagement

Our study of 2 million accounts receiving higher than average numbers of saves per Pin suggests that follower count does matter. In fact, in the group that consistently enjoyed higher than average engagement, the average follower count was over 50K. Those moving from lower than average engagement in November to higher than average in January averaged 4.3K.

Could this be because these accounts have been on Pinterest longer and have perhaps amassed some level of trust in the algorithm? Maybe. Could these larger accounts be utilizing Pinterest ads to expand their reach? Maybe. Whatever the reason, higher follower count often correlates to more saves.

On Pinterest, More Followers = More Saves. Consistent high performers average 50K followers. Source Feb 2021 Tailwind study over over 2M accounts receiving higher than average numbers of saves per Pin November 2020 and January 2021.

Pro Tip: Pinterest has signaled that they are looking to connect users to people who inspire them. This means community and followers will likely become more and more important to your success on Pinterest over time.

Action Items

Encourage your existing blog, email, and social audiences to follow you. They already love your content, so are likely to engage and save when they see it on Pinterest – further increasing your reach. We like the WordPress plugin MiloTree for this. But you can also share a “What we’re Pinning” mention in your emails or embed Pins or Boards on your site.

Also, CLAIM YOUR WEBSITE. : ) See below.

Successful Pinterest Accounts Claim Their Sites!

Not claiming your website could result in your Pin creates being registered as Pin saves – and we already learned that Pin creates generate 71% of the engagement you can expect from your content.

In a February 2021 study of over 2m accounts Pinning in November and January, fully 80% of those consistently enjoying higher than average engagement rates had claimed their domains on Pinterest. Compare this with under 3% of the consistent under performers.

When you claim your website, you let Pinterest know you are the source of everything saved from your site. You’ll have access to powerful analytics, your content will feature prominently in your profile on the “Created” tab, and everything anyone ever saves from your site will feature YOU as the creator – with a big “follow” button next to your image and profile name. If you don’t claim your site, the person saving a Pin that links to your site gets that follow button instead. Not cool.

Check out this example. Lili may have saved it, but the content creator, Sweet Cs, gets the credit, which will help grow an engaged following.



Claim Your Website - 80% of high performers have. Source: Feb 2021 data study of over 2m accounts Pinning in November and January.

Action Item

Claim your site 🙂 Simply click on your photo in the top-right corner of the page and select “settings” and go to Claim. The process is pretty simple, but you can learn more here.

Successful Pinterest Marketers Use Tailwind

Pinterest prefers consistency in sharing. If you like to batch create content and Pins, that means you’ll want a scheduler to space them out for you!

We looked at all Pins published via Tailwind, manually, or scheduled on Pinterest during July 2020 – January 2021 and found no difference in Pin engagement (saves). When comparing engagement on saves, we actually saw slightly higher performance for the Tailwind-published saves versus the Pinterest saves. This held true for saves and creates in January 2021 alone as well.

The best way to use Tailwind today is to create beautiful branded images in a snap with Tailwind Create (our members average 1.8 minutes per Tailwind Create design compared with 15 minutes for popular drag-and-drop editors) and schedule them with SmartSchedule – at the best times for engagement.

Pins published via Tailwind have the same or higher engagement than those published manually. Source February 2021 data study of Pins shared July 2020 - January 2021. Results held true for Pins shared January 2021 alone.

In Conclusion: Getting More Engagement on Pinterest

Numbers don’t lie. Make these insights part of your Pinterest by making them a part of your strategy today! Remember to:

  • Share new, relevant images for inspiring content.
  • Create video Pins, especially of the step-by-step or how-to variety.
  • Encourage reactions, comments, and photos
  • Grow your engaged followers.
  • Claim your website.
  • Use Tailwind and especially Tailwind Create.

Create. Schedule. Publish. All in One Place.
Start a Free Trial of Tailwind for Pinterest!

  • Make beautiful Pins faster than ever before with Tailwind Create
  • Get more engagement with SmartSchedule.
  • Collaborate, share and grow with Tailwind Communities
  • Automatically reshare your best Pins at safe intervals with SmartLoop.

Pin Me for Later:

Alisa Meredith is Pinterest Product Specialist at Tailwind — — your new Marketing team, helping you create social media designs, schedule posts, and optimize across Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest with one easy-to-use social media management tool.  She is a sought-after speaker and teacher on Pinterest and Promoted Pins in particular, having spoken at Social Media Marketing World, Agents of Change and appearing on The Art of Paid Traffic and Social Pros podcasts. Alisa has invested heavily in becoming an expert in her craft – realizing (and loving) the fact that the learning never ends!  She lives in coastal North Carolina with her pampered pets Pepe the couch potato Cavapoo, and more cats than she’d like to admit to.

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