When I first started using Pinterest for marketing my TpT products, I did what a lot of teacherpreneurs before me and after me have done. I joined pinning parties. There wasn’t even an entire Pinterest thread on the forums back then, but I jumped in nonetheless.
There are many reasons why I did. First, it seemed like everyone else was doing it. Second, it made sense. More people pinning my products, of course that’s a good thing. Third, Pinterest is confusing, and I didn’t know what else to do.
We are teachers. We are entrepreneurs. We like to do stuff. We like to make things happen. When you don’t know what to do, most of us choose doing something over doing nothing. And pinning parties are that something.
I soon realized that my pinning party efforts were not paying off. Pinning parties were not getting me anywhere, and the more I learned about Pinterest, the more I decided that pinning parties just don’t make good business sense. Here are my reasons:
1. You are pinning competitive products. When you pin other products, you are creating competition for yourself. Yes, there is a lot of coop-etition on TpT. We collaborate. We share. We help each other. That is great. I will happily share a great freebie or blog post that I find useful because that is directly helping my audience. I am adding value. I am helping a TpT friend. I never pin a paid product that directly competes with one of my own. I can guarantee you that Apple does not pin Dell computers to their Pinterest boards or vice versa.
2. You are misleading your audience. Part of being successful on Pinterest is building a following made up of your ideal buyers. When you pin something, your audience trusts that it is high quality, fitting with the brand you have built for yourself. With many pinning parties, you are vouching for something that you haven’t tried out or even seen the full version of.
3. Your pins are not going to the right audience. There are so many different niches, audiences, subject areas, and grade levels on TpT. Someone who follows a third grade teacher on Pinterest does not care to see a pin from an 11th grade English teacher. Many of the pinning parties that I reviewed had pinners and products from all grade ranges and subjects.
4. Your pins are not getting repinned. Stay with me here. Yes, your pins initially get repinned per the rules of the pinning party. It is enticing to see your initial repin count go up. I get it. But what happens to pins after that initial repin? I decided to do some investigative work, and I followed the pin trail on some of the most popular pinning party threads on the TpT forums. After the initial repins from the thread, almost all of the pins that I checked had 0 repins from the second board. I know this is not scientific, and I don’t have time to check all of the pins. But you can follow the pin trail of your own pinning party pins by clicking on the repin icon. This will show you the boards where they go, and you can then find your pins and see the repin count from there.
The pinning parties that I have experience with are ineffective and do not make good business sense. Perhaps, there is a better way to do pinning parties. I don’t know. But I do think there are better ways to spend your Pinterest time like building a following, pinning the right pins, and building the right boards.