It’s easy to waste hours every week on social media, doing things that could be automated…
…or at the very least done faster with the right tools.
Add up those few hours a week, and you’ll see that the average social media marketer easily wastes over 100 hours a year.
I’m guessing you have better things to do with your time than mess around on social media.
In this post, I’ll address one network in particular—Pinterest.
The massive, image-based social media site is one of the best for finding new customers:
The average user on Pinterest has money and is willing to spend it.
That being said, Pinterest isn’t for every business. Considering that Pinterest is dominated by American women (68% female), it works better for certain niches than for others.
If you’re not sure if Pinterest is right for your business, check out my complete guide to creating a social media strategy.
Assuming that Pinterest is a good fit for you, you want to make sure that you have the right tools for the job.
Tools can help you:
- save time
- get better results (more pins, repins, and traffic)
- be consistent (less effort on your part)
I’ve compiled a list of the 16 best Pinterest tools for social media marketers. I’ve divided them into four main categories.
You won’t need all of them, but if you pick one from each section, you’ll save a lot of time and get a lot more out of your time on Pinterest.
For posting content easily and more efficiently
The tools in this section all make your life easier by helping you post images to Pinterest faster.
Not only that, but most of them also provide some sort of a visual schedule, so you know if you’re posting as much as you’d like.
Let’s jump into tool #1…
1. Buffer: Buffer needs to be included in any list of social media tools for the big networks.
While it originally did not have support for Pinterest, it does now.
Buffer does a few things and does them really well. It allows you to:
- pin images automatically – Buffer will automatically pin content to your account when you tell it to (you have to supply the content).
- create a posting schedule – you tell Buffer which times of the day (and which days) you want to make posts.
- easily add images to your queue - Buffer pulls images from your queue in the order you add them. You can add images to your queue using the tool or browser extensions.
- post to multiple networks - although we’re concerned only with Pinterest here, you can also connect your Twitter, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn accounts. Then, you can tell Buffer to post the same image to any of those accounts as well.
After you’ve created a Buffer account, the first thing you want to do is connect your Pinterest account.
All you need to do is authenticate the app with a click of a button.
Next, you’ll want to head over to your schedule tab. Here, pick the days you’d like to post, the number of times you’d like to post each day, and specific times to post.
The final piece of the puzzle is to add content to your queue. From there, Buffer does all the hard work.
Like I mentioned before, you have a few different options to do this.
First, you can add the content through Buffer itself. Go to the content tab to see your existing queue, and then add a post into the text area. Make sure your Pinterest account is highlighted (which will allow you to pick a board to post to).
If you ever return to your queue, Buffer will show you a list of any content you’ve added, organized by the time it’s supposed to be posted.
Additionally, you can install the Buffer browser extension.
Once you do, you will see a “share image” button on any image you come across on the web. Click it, and a message composer will come up, which will allow you to customize the message and add it to your queue:
Finally, on top of allowing you to schedule pins automatically, Buffer will also show you the performance of each pin as well as your account overall. You can see the number of followers you’re gaining as well as the amount of engagement you’re getting on your pins:
2. Tailwind: Like Buffer, Tailwind is a tool that allows you to schedule pins.
However, it’s a tool specifically designed for Pinterest. This is a good thing if you only focus on Pinterest for your business. It’s a bad thing if you also use other networks because then you’ll need extra tools to handle them.
It also has a few extra features that you might find useful.
First, create your Tailwind account, and let it access your Pinterest account. It would also be a good idea to add the browser extension at this point.
Just like in Buffer, you can go to the settings and set your own schedule for posting.
Once you do, you can click on “create new pin” in your main schedule tab, which will bring up a window that is similar to what you’d see on Pinterest:
This same window will also pop up on any webpage if you click the Tailwind button that shows up on an image (if you’ve installed the extension).
Pick your board and description, and indicate whether you’d like to post it to Facebook or Twitter. It does have that feature even though it doesn’t support those networks beyond it.
At any time, you can return to your schedule tab and see the pins you have in your queue and when they’ll be posted.
You can also see a nice visual schedule in the right sidebar.
Once you’ve made some pins, you can go to the “pin inspector” (using the left side menu) and see how each individual pin performed. You can sort it by any engagement metric.
You can also dig in further and let Tailwind analyze all your boards to see which one gets the most engagement for each pin.
If you see that one board has a high engagement and virality score, you should focus more of your effort on it. Conversely, you may want to delete any low performing boards.
Overall, it’s a very complete tool and can replace 2-3 smaller Pinterest tools. There’s a lot more beyond the essentials I went over here.
3. ViralTag: This is another good option when it comes to scheduling pins, but it isn’t quite as in-depth as the first two options. But this could be a good thing if you’re just looking for the bare minimum.
The first thing you’ll want to do is create an account. Then, drag the ViralTag bookmarklet into your browser.
It creates a little bookmark on your bookmarks bar.
Whenever you’re on a page with images, you can click the bookmarklet, and a pop-up window will show you all the images on the page:
Click each image to add a checkmark to the top left corner (or click again to take it away).
If an image is checked, you’re telling ViralTag that you want to share that image.
After you click Next, you’ll have the option to choose which board to post the images to as well as to set a time and provide other image information:
You can always go back to your ViralTag account and change any of that information:
This tool is best for marketers who typically post images others have created (which is fine on Pinterest with attribution).
You can quickly add several images to your queue while you are browsing other boards on Pinterest.
4. IFTTT: IFTTT stands for “If this, then that.” It’s an automation tool that you can use in many areas of marketing.
Not only is it incredibly useful but it’s also free.
Here’s how it works:
- you define “this” - specify an action. It could be a post being published or something being shared. “This” is some sort of action.
- you define “that” – another action that you specify. When the “this” event occurs, the tool will automatically do the “that” action that you specified.
The combination of both is called a recipe. Here are a few examples:
You can use IFTTT with just about any website, including most social networks.
The great thing is that you don’t need to come up with recipes yourself. Chances are other marketers have already come up with and published the recipes you could benefit from.
Here are the top IFTTT recipes for Pinterest.
Let me show you how to set up a recipe once you find one that looks useful.
If you’re on Pinterest, you might also be using another image-based social channel—Instagram.
This recipe automatically posts any picture you post on Instagram onto a Pinterest board:
First, you’ll need to connect each channel. You only have to do this once for each account.
Click the “Connect” button, and give IFTTT access to each account.
Then, all you will see is an Add Recipe button:
Click this, and the recipe will be activated. That’s it!
5. Hootsuite: Hootsuite has been one of the top tools for social media marketers for years.
It’s received some criticism for not evolving as quickly as other tools, but it still has all the core features you’ll need.
Something that’s really cool is that Hootsuite can be integrated with other tools we’ve looked at when it comes to Pinterest.
For example, Hootsuite can be integrated with Tailwind.
You get to use all the features of both Tailwind and Hootsuite.
And if there’s one thing Hootsuite excels at, it’s letting you create a great dashboard.
As you can see from the picture above, you can get a lot of useful information on your screen, like a list of your scheduled pins and your calendar.
You can control which panels are shown on your account. Click “+ Add Stream” at the top of the dashboard, and choose from the many options.
The other common option for Hootsuite integration is ViralTag. Again, you can schedule pins, see how your recent pins are performing, and edit any scheduled pins before they go live.
Hootsuite by itself isn’t a great option, but when you combine it with ViralTag or Tailwind, it can be. It’s especially useful if you like what those other tools can do but don’t like their interface.
Make the most of Pinterest
This next batch of tools help you use Pinterest more effectively (and more efficiently).
If you use them as intended, you will be able to get more pins, more traffic, and a higher conversion rate.
6. PinGroupie: One of the most underrated tactics for getting traffic from Pinterest is becoming a part of group boards.
Any member of the group can contribute to such a board.
Some boards have tens of thousands of members, and a large chunk of those are active members.
When you pin something on one of those boards, it’s automatically going to be seen by thousands of users. If you’re posting interesting images, you can regularly get hundreds of pins.
And all of this is without a following of your own.
The tough part is finding these groups. After you do, you usually have to send a request to join. As long as your account looks natural, you typically get accepted.
PinGroupie is a simple tool that makes finding groups much easier.
It’s basically a database of high-activity Pinterest groups. You can search the database for groups that fit your niche.
There are a few different ways you can use the tool:
- specify a category - using the category drop-down menu, you can pick a broad category you want to see. This is best if you have an authority site that covers many topics in a niche.
- filter by title – you can enter a word in the “title” box and then click the “filter” button to see groups with that word in the title.
- filter by description - you can also enter a word in the “description” box and click the “filter” button to see groups with that word in the description. This is better in most cases since descriptions have more words than titles.
All three ways can work, so try them all, and make a list of groups to join.
After you get accepted to them, make sure you’re not spamming them with your own content. Contribute other content on a regular basis.
7. PinAlerts: Pinterest does something neat. When someone repins something you originally pinned, it sends you a notification.
That allows you to do things like follow that person in the hopes that they follow you back. This leads to more pins in the future.
You know what would be even more useful? Getting a notification every time someone pinned something from your website.
If you’re using high quality pictures in your blog content, many of your readers will pin them.
If you knew when they did this, you could not only follow them but also repin their original pin of your image and possibly comment as well.
If you haven’t guessed yet, this is a tool that sends you a notification when someone pins something from your site.
There are three steps to set it up.
First, you enter your domain into the tool. Then, you choose what kind of alerts you’d like to receive. Finally, you press the button to create it (hard, I know).
It’s not pretty, but it works.
8. LoveList: This tool is really useful if you find yourself in stores a lot.
It was originally created when a couple was trying to put together a wedding registry but couldn’t find an easy way to do it.
So, they created this tool.
You scan the barcode of products in stores with your phone, and the tool will automatically pin pictures of those products to a Pinterest board (that you specify).
This tool won’t be for everyone. However, if you run a business about a hobby, let’s say home decorating, you might find yourself in decorating stores often, especially if you’re really passionate about it.
You might as well make the most of your time and load up your Pinterest account while you’re doing it.
9. Loop88: Some marketers are great at building social media accounts and getting highly engaged followers.
However, it’s not always easy to convert that into profit.
This tool was created to connect popular pinners to advertisers.
Fair warning: To get accepted, you will need a fairly popular account.
They work with brands of all sizes, including big ones. For example, the TV show “The Mindy Project” wanted to build brand awareness.
They paid pinners (through this tool) to post quotes from the show:
I don’t know the exact payouts from this tool, but I think a moderately popular account could make an extra few hundred dollars a month.
It’s just another way to generate some revenue with your social media efforts without too much extra work.
Get more shares and traffic with these tools
Let’s shift directions a little bit…
Now I want to share some tools that will help you get more pins and overall traffic from Pinterest.
Considering these are two of the most important metrics when it comes to Pinterest marketing, these tools are pretty useful.
10. SumoMe Image Sharer: This tool is actually a website plugin that will take you just a few minutes to install.
However, it can lead to hundreds or even thousands of extra pins over time. Oh, and it’s free.
When a reader of your blog sees an amazing picture on your website, what do they do?
In most cases, nothing.
Even if they have a Pinterest account, only a small portion of those readers will think to share the image.
Why? Because nothing prompts them to make the connection that this picture might be a good one to pin.
Additionally, some won’t pin it because they’re lazy.
You’re missing out on extra pins and traffic because of this.
The image sharer tool allows you to add floating buttons to all your images.
You’ve likely seen it before on other blogs.
Now, readers of your blog can just click the Pinterest button, allowing them to post an image in under 30 seconds.
You can also add other network buttons to your images, but typically the Pinterest button will work best.
11. Pinterest widgets: Sometimes, we look to other tools to do some extra things we need. Pinterest actually has a really useful widget creator tool that can create attractive widgets for your website.
There’s no need to find other tools to use if you’re looking to highlight your Pinterest account or recent pins somewhere on your website (usually the sidebar).
You can pick from a variety of different widgets in the tool. Click one of the boxes to select a widget.
In the example below, I picked a board:
You add the URL of the board and pick a size, and then you can see what it will look like in the preview.
After, it will generate a code that you can copy and paste into your website.
You can also feature your Pinterest profile as a whole or as a single pin, or you can create pin and follow buttons.
The default design will follow the standard Pinterest color scheme, but you can always edit the CSS to create a custom display.
12. Rich pins validator: On top of regular pins, it’s also possible to create “rich pins.”
These pins stand out among regular pins and typically get extra shares and engagement (Target got 70% more traffic with rich pins).
These pins consist of an image and also have useful information for users.
Here’s an example of a film rich pin:
You can see why that would stand out from just an image of the movie cover as a regular pin.
On top of movies, you can also create rich pins for:
In order to get rich pins to show up when you pin content from your site (or someone else does), you need to have open graph (OG) schema markup on your articles.
Once you do, Pinterest will pull information from those meta tags to use.
The easiest way to do this is by using the SEO plugin by Yoast.
Go to the social settings tab in the plugin, and then go to the “Facebook” tab first. Check the “Add open graph meta data” (both Facebook and Pinterest use the same ones).
Next, go to the Pinterest tab in the settings.
Here, click the link to “verify your site with Pinterest.” This will take you to Pinterest to get a meta tag to add to your site. Add this tag into the space here, and save changes.
Some meta tags will be added to posts automatically.
However, you’ll also want to go into your posts (in the WordPress editor) and scroll down past the content.
You’ll see a box for “Yoast SEO” and a tab for “Social” with a few meta tag fields:
Fill them out for Facebook, and Pinterest will take them when appropriate.
Now back to the tool: I suppose we’re looking at two tools together here. On top of the Yoast plugin, you can now use the rich pin validator.
This will allow you to input a URL from your site into the URL debugger, and it will tell you if everything is set up okay or not.
If all is well, you’ll get a success message:
Create high quality images that get more pins
The final category of tools can help you get even more pins.
To get pins and repins, the main thing you need is great images.
These tools will help you create those images even if you’re not much of a designer.
13. Snappa: You are a marketer, not a designer. While it’s good to have some design skills, chances are you don’t have the time to master Photoshop.
With modern tools, you can still produce awesome pictures perfect for Pinterest.
Snappa is one of them. It’s actually designed specifically for marketers.
When you create an account, you’ll see that you can pick from different image sizes:
In this case, we want the Pinterest pin size, of course.
This will bring up a new screen with different templates on it. You can either choose one of these or create an image from scratch:
This will bring you to the actual image editing window.
Using the menu at the top, you can control what shows up in the left panel. When you click something in the left panel (like a background or graphic), it will be added to your image on the right:
The beauty of this tool is how easy it is to edit the image.
You can click any element and then drag it to move it, drag a corner to resize it, or press Delete to delete it.
If you use the templates, you can easily make your own custom images in less than 5 minutes each. And they look great.
14. Canva: Canva is a lot like Snappa, but it came first. It’s not specifically designed for marketers, but it still has a fair number of templates that will be useful to you.
For pins, click the “More” button under the “Create a design” section on the home page (once you’re signed in):
Then, click “Pinterest Graphic”:
Again, when you’re editing your image, you’ll see two main parts: your image on the right and options on the left.
Start by going to the “layouts” tab on the left, which has a bunch of great templates to choose from:
In addition, you can add text and graphics or change the background using the other tabs.
Of course, you can edit the image itself on the right. Refer to this guide for more detailed instructions on creating your own images using Canva.
15. Pablo: Canva and Snappa are both amazing and simple to use tools. Pablo is even simpler.
If you doubt your design skills and want the easiest option possible, this is it.
This tool was created by the Buffer team, who obviously understand the needs of social media marketers.
On the side menu, choose the “Tall” picture size, which is the perfect size for Pinterest.
Then, pick a background from the left side menu:
Click on the text, and add a custom quote or message your audience will like.
Obviously, this tool is a bit more limited than the others, but it’s a great way to make beautiful pictures with quotes on them, which often get a ton of pins and comments.
16. Picmonkey: Sometimes, you will find a picture you’d like to share, but it doesn’t look good enough to pin.
That’s where a tool such as Picmonkey can be useful. You can change all aspects of the picture such as:
- direction (rotation)
On top of those useful editing features, you can also add filters to enhance the look of pictures (just don’t go overboard with them).
Click the little flask icon on the left menu, and you’ll get a list of different filters. Click on a filter to apply it to the image on the right:
Pinterest is one of the best platforms for social media marketers.
However, you want to make sure that you’re getting the best return on your time and effort.
I’ve shown you 16 awesome tools you can use to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your Pinterest marketing.
I don’t expect you to use them all, but it’d be a good idea to try a few at a time until you determine which ones fit well into your marketing.
I’d also like to hear about any great tools I missed in this post, so leave me a comment below and let me know about them.