Joining a Pinterest group board is one of the best things you can do for your blog. While it’s true they’re not as amazing as they used to be thanks to the Smart Feed, group boards are still a useful weapon to have in your Pinterest marketing arsenal.
When I first started using Pinterest for blog marketing, I was afraid to ask to join other boards. Eventually, I got over that fear and now I’m totally obsessed. If you’re like me and you are afraid to ask to join some boards, I hope this post will put some of your fears to rest.
(UPDATED FOR 2018. Updates are marked with “UPDATE” tag)
Pinterest Group Board Quick Links
Use these to browse to a specific section of this post
- What is a Pinterest Group Board?
- How to Find Group Boards to Join
- How to Get Invited to Pinterest Group Boards
- How to Create a Group Board on Pinterest
- How to Manage Your Group Board Invites
- How to Promote Your Group Board
- How to Use BoardBooster to Manage Your Group Boards
- Over to you!
What is a Pinterest Group Board?
A Pinterest Group Board is a collaborative board maintained by multiple people. These people can add pins to the group board that can then be seen by the followers of not only the board itself but also those who follow all the boards of the group board owner.
You can basically pin to another person’s board and reach their followers. This is one of the ways you’re able to be successful on Pinterest without having a large following yourself.
Group boards still follow the rules of the Smart Feed algorithm. You still need to follow Pinterest SEO best practices to have your pins show up in the home feeds of the board’s followers.
How to Find Group Boards to Join
You’re ready to join a group board but there’s just one little problem: you have no idea where to find them. Well, in a few minutes you’ll have all the tools you need to find the perfect group boards for your blog.
Which Group Boards Should You Join?
Don’t join boards just because they exist and have lots of followers. You need to join boards that are in your niche. You’ll be more likely to have your stuff viewed by people searching for the same content you produce.
Me joining a group board for food pins just wouldn’t make sense. I could only post food-based content to it (which I don’t post anyway) and that’s also not what I want people to follow me for.
2018 UPDATE: Pinterest is cracking down on large, potentially spammy group boards. Right now, it’s my opinion that the best way to utilize group boards is through small, niche boards.
Join up with bloggers who will share each other’s content to take advantage of each other’s followers rather than trying to directly access the group owners followers through posting in the group board.
Places to Find Groups Boards
The easiest way to start looking for group boards is so head straight to Pinterest search and type in some keywords followed by “group board”. That will get you tons of results to start looking through.
Time to get sneaky! Stake out other Pinterest accounts that share similar content and see what group boards they’re posting to. They might even be running their own board that you can join.
Besides searching for actual boards, you can search pins for blog posts about group boards. Lots of bloggers share their favorite group boards or offer up a mini-directory of groups.
There are several groups just for posting about Pinterest group boards! You can search the archives for groups posted by others, post your own group board, or ask for board suggestions.
Here are a few Facebook groups just for Pinterest:
UPDATE: BoardBooster is no longer available
BoardBooster has a directory of high performing group boards. You don’t even have to have a BoardBooster account to use it.
PinGroupie is another directory just for finding group boards. For awhile it wasn’t updated but as of a few months ago, it’s up and running again.
The Pin Junkie is a blog with Pinterest tips and a large directory of group boards. It also hosts weekly Pinterest link parties
Share this list if you found it useful:
How to Get Invited to Pinterest Group Boards
Honestly, “getting invited” is as easy as just asking the admin to join. For most boards, there’s no buttering-up of admins or complex friend-making needed to get an invite.
After you ask, that’s usually where the anxiety starts piling on since it takes some time for people to get back with you, if they do at all. So here are some tips on how to ask to join a group board and why you shouldn’t freak out about the wait time.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
You can’t join if you don’t ask! The first step to joining a Pinterest group board is to take that leap and actually ask a group admin if you can join. If a board is open for new members, it will usually mention how to contact the admin to be invited.
If asking is something you’re not comfortable with, try joining some boards that have application forms first. Just be sure to bookmark all those other group boards you find so you can ask to join them after you get over that initial shyness.
Be Prepared for “Rejection”
First off, be ready to be “rejected” a lot. Though most of the time, it’s not really a rejection. Since there’s no automated way to apply for a group board, it’s likely that whoever owns it just isn’t maintaining it anymore. Especially if it’s one of the older boards. Usually, the boards with tons of followers have been around for awhile so they owner may be MIA from Pinterest.
So basically, don’t feel bad if you don’t hear back from that giant board with 500,000 followers. It’s probably nothing personal. It’s possible the admin just isn’t active on Pinterest at the moment, no matter what the board says.
You’re more likely to be able to connect with new boards. These won’t have the huge follower counts, but they’ll have more active users, including a more active admin.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try for the big boards. Getting yourself on the radar of that many people is a great opportunity. I just want to stress that you shouldn’t let it get to you if you never hear back from someone.
Sometimes it can take weeks or months for someone to get back to you on your invite. They may also email you or just simply add you one day out of the blue. Other times, you’ll hear back right away.
Be prepared to wait at least several days before receiving an invite. Don’t surprised if it takes several weeks.
Cast a Wide Net
I prefer to apply to a lot of group boards and then evaluate which work best for me. Gathering a bunch of boards and sorting through them can be a pain, but blogging is hard work! But by being a part of a lot of boards, I’m able to share with a lot of different audiences.
Another benefit of applying to lots of boards is due to the wait time between asking for an invite and actually getting invited. You can waste a lot of time by waiting to get into a few boards instead of going for other boards you might get into more quickly.
Posting to 2,000 people instead of 10,000 people is still better than not posting to 0 people. Once you’re in better group boards, you can leave the ones that don’t get you a lot of saves or clicks.
How to Create a Group Board on Pinterest
Creating a group board is easy. You simply need to add someone to any pinboard you’ve already created. To add them, you need the email they use for Pinterest with or their Pinterest username.
You can do this from the edit window for pinboards
Or by clicking to plus (+) next to your photo in the board’s header:
Don’t forget to pick a name with the appropriate keywords. You may want to add your brand name as well. If not in the title, then definitely in the description. Using “Group Board” in the name as well will make it easier to find for people searching Pinterest for group boards to contribute to.
Secret Boards Work Too
You can also add collaborators to secret boards if you and several people or a client want to work together on setting up a private Pinterest board.
What to Include in Your Group Board Description
Your group board description should include
- an appropriate description with keywords
- the rules for participating
- if your group board is accepting contributors
- how to join your group board if it is accepting
- a link to another community you run ( a Facebook group for example)
- and as a bonus, a link to a free offer you have that could help contributors or other Pinterest users
How to Create Rules for Your Group Board
You may choose to have certain rules for your board or have a no rules, anything-goes type of board. Whichever you pick, be sure to add it to your description.
Here are some ideas for group board rules based on rules I’ve seen for over several boards
- Daily pin limit – usually 3-5 pins
- Limit on duplicate pins – allowed after a certain amount of days (i.e. 30 or 60) or not allowed at all
- How much to repin from the group – usually 1 or 2 pins for every pin added
- Sizes for pins – vertical pins only or limiting really long pins
- If affiliate links are allowed
- If product links are allowed
- If people can promote their free offers
- If people should add pins other than just their own content
- If people should follow you before being invited
Now, you don’t necessarily have to mention all these things in your description unless they’re not allowed. If you’d like to encourage people to post a certain thing, you can mention it. Something like “yes, you can post affiliate links here” or “feel free to add your products.”
How to Manage Your Group Board Invites
I love it when someone has a form people can fill out to join their group board! It makes it quick and easy for me to apply and I know the owner is serious about managing their invites.
We’ve all never heard back from a board owner through email before, right? At least with a firm, there’s no wondering if they ever saw your email at all.
There are tons of options for creating a form for your group board. Google Forms is the most common since it’s free and accessible to anyone. You can also use Typeform to create a beautiful interactive form or use that contact system on your blog.
Leveraging Your Future Group Board Members
Since people are already filling out your group board form, this is a great opportunity to collect some new subscribers. This is especially useful if the people contributing to your board could be helped with your content.
These people will be highly targeted since they’re looking to join a board on a specific topic. They’ll be more likely to benefit from your content and want to actually be put on your email list.
Don’t forget to ask permission
Always ask before you add someone to your email list. Unless you’ve made it clear that it’s a requirement to join your list to be invited, do not add everyone who applies.
Instead, ask them if they’d like to join. Tell them what to expect from being on your mailing list and ask them if they’d like to join by checking a box or selecting yes or no.
Why not require everyone to be on your list?
Here’s my thinking for why it’s not a great idea to require people to be on your mailing list to join your group board. You want a list full of the right people, not just people you gave an ultimatum to join who take up valuable space on your mailing list. That makes it different from giving away a free resource that puts a potential customer into your sales funnel.
I’d personally rather have people who made the decision to join on their own than people who are only looking to promote themselves in my group. I don’t mind the promotion, but they’re likely to be too knowledgeable about the stuff I’m selling to become actual customers.
The same goes for those bloggers who aren’t selling anything. You still want people who will actually interact with your content so you’re not paying for cold email subscribers.
Get Alerts for New Sign Ups on Your Forms
Did you know that you can get email notifications when someone fills out a Google Form? You can download an app for Forms that will send you alerts so you never miss a new application.
If you’re using something else for your applications, like Typeform or a WordPress contact form, you’ll already get email notifications, but Google Forms doesn’t have this natively.
How to Promote Your Group Board
Now that you have a Pinterest group board, you need to promote it so people know it exists. You’ll want to promote it to followers as well as potential new members.
Anyone who follows your whole account will automatically follow the group board, but you’ll want to tell your readers about the new board just to make sure they’re following too.
You can write a blog post and feature the group in your email newsletter. You also need other people to contribute to your group, so don’t forget to mention that in your posts as well.
Outside of your own posts, Facebook groups for bloggers are a great place to start looking for new members. There are also a few Facebook groups dedicated to helping people find new Pinterest group boards to join.
UPDATE: BoardBooster is no longer available
How to Use BoardBooster to Manage Your Group Boards You can find the Group Manager under “Maintenance tools” when you’re logged into BoardBooster. You have to add a group board that you own first before you can manage it.
Track Group Members You can track each person who pins to your group boards from within BoardBooster. It will show you the last 20 or so pins they’ve added and gives you a percentage of duplicate pins. If you don’t want the same thing pinned by any one person, this can be useful in deciding who needs to be removed from the group. It will also help you keep track of who’s posting the right content. If you check your board and see that someone posted something outside the theme of your board, you can check their most recent pics to see if they’re a repeat offender or just made a mistake when pinning.
Clean Up Group Boards In addition to managing your members, you can also put in orders to clean up pins with low repins from your boards. BoardBooster tracks actual repins, not the Pinterest-wide repin count that you normally see. So if something is pinned to the group board but only gets 0-5 repins, you can clean those pins from the board. The clean up feature does cost money, 1 cent per pin, and only up to 1,000 pins can be deleted at a time. So for $10, you can clean up 1,000 pins from your group board. This isn’t for removing duplicate pins, by the way. It only allows you to clean pins via repins. I think you might be able to remove dupes with the Pin Doctor or Pin Mover tools but since they cost extra, I’ve never used them myself.
Over to you!
It’s your turn now! Are you pumped about joining to starting your own group board? I hope so.
If you have any questions or you’d like to add your input on using Pinterest group boards, please add a comment below.