Instagram is a great platform to help increase the visibility of your brand. As a marketer or business owner, you need to take active steps towards growing your Instagram following.

Here are some stats to prove why:

  • As of January 2020, Instagram has nearly 1 billion monthly active users. It is also the second most popular social media platform. (Source)
  • Brands see engagement rates 10x higher on Instagram than they do on Facebook. (Source)
  • Since users can shop natively without leaving the app, over 130 million users engage with shopping posts on a monthly basis. (Source)

These stats establish the value of Instagram on your marketing and advertising efforts.

To reap the benefits that come with Instagram, you need to grow your Instagram followers.

Compared to a year or two ago, growing Instagram followers isn’t as easy as it used to be. With Instagram improving its algorithm and the increasing competition amongst brands, you would need effective strategies to grow on Instagram.

One of these strategies is using Pinterest to grow your Instagram account.

Unlike Instagram where the only place to put clickable links is in your bio, Pinterest allows users to add links to each post making it a great channel for referral traffic.

If you want to grow your Instagram account, you can use Pinterest to attract more followers.

Ready to get started? Here are 8 ways to grow your Instagram account using Pinterest.

1. Claim your Instagram on Pinterest

Claiming your Instagram account on Pinterest is very easy to do. It would only take a few minutes.

Go to Pinterest > Account settings > Claimed accounts > Instagram.

Once you have claimed your Instagram account, any pins created from your Instagram account in the future would be attributed to you.

What this means is that if you or any other user shares content from your Instagram account on Pinterest, your Pinterest profile and a follow button would show on the pin.

If a user clicks on the Pin, they would be redirected to your Instagram account. This attribution system is very helpful in getting click-throughs to your Instagram account especially when you are still new on the platform.

Since Instagram posts have a short life span, by claiming your Instagram account and then pinning posts from your Instagram account to Pinterest, you can drive more viewers and engagement to your Instagram account for a long time.

As more of your pins get saved, more people would see your Pinterest posts and click-through to your Instagram account. The more people that visit your Instagram account via Pinterest referrals and also enjoy your content, the more followers you gain.

2. Publish to Instagram & share the content on Pinterest

After claiming your account, publish your content to Instagram first then share it to Pinterest.

All you need to do is log into your Instagram account via desktop. Go to the post you want to pin on Pinterest and grab the post’s URL. It’s this Instagram URL that you are going to use as the pin’s designation website.

Don’t forget to add a caption to your posts before uploading. While the character limit isn’t as much as Instagram, it’s still enough to give context to your post.

Tip: to streamline the content creation and publication process, use a free Instagram planning tool — Combin Scheduler. This will help you save your time, automatically publish posts and stories, organise your hashtags, add a link in bio, and even repost posts of other Instagrammers.

The more creative you are with the captions, the more people would engage with the pins. The more engagements your pin receives, the more referral clicks you drive to your Instagram account.

If you have an Instagram post that contains multiple images, you can consider creating a Pinterest-optimized graphic of all the photos merged together in one image. You can use an app like Canva to merge all the photos into one.

The best part of sharing your Instagram content to Pinterest is that pins are evergreen. In contrast to Instagram where the visibility of posts reduces after a day, Pinterest uploads continue to see engagement months later. So any of your Instagram pins that are popular would continue to receive referral traffic for a long time.

3. Categorize content into boards

If you are trying to grow your Instagram account with Pinterest, just uploading content from your Instagram account to Pinterest won’t be enough.

If you expect people to interact with your content regularly, you’ve got to optimize each pin you upload and make them count.

One way to optimize your pins is by categorizing them into boards.

Pinterest boards are a collection of pins around a visual theme or central idea curated by a user or community of users. Each board on your Pinterest profile should have a specific theme. For example, you may have a fall fashion board or a graphic design board. As time passes, you can add content to your old boards and also create new ones.

When creating a board, use straightforward names that users can understand and easily remember. You can also add keywords where necessary to grab attention.

Tip: Create boards based on trending topics and keywords. Creating boards based on what’s trending in your niche would help you reach a wider audience. Make sure that the content you pin to the boards is relevant to the kind of followers you want to attract.

You can also participate in Group boards. This is a great way to get your pins in front of a larger audience.

4. Use Pinterest SEO

Pinterest is a visual search engine. Similar to Google search, you need to perform SEO to increase your visibility on the platform.

Pinterest considers the keywords and phrases used on the description of a pin when deciding what to show in a user’s feed. They also consider the keywords used in the board title and board description where the pin is saved. Pinterest also looks at keywords in the title page of the pin destination (i.e your Instagram post) when ranking content on the home page.

Adding keywords to your pins would help increase your pin exposure.

Add keywords that your target audience is searching for — the same way you create keyword-optimized content for your blog or website. The more keywords you rank for, the higher visibility your pins receive. You can either use the “Trending on Pinterest” section in the search tab or an SEO tool to find which keywords and trends that are ranking in your niche.

Along with keywords, also add relevant hashtags to your pin descriptions. Both of them work together to bring traffic to your Pinterest profile, boards, and pins. With increased traffic to your Pins and boards, the more click-throughs you get to your Instagram account.

There is no rule on how many keywords you should add to your posts. Although, the best-performing pins tend to have between 5–10 keywords and 3–5 hashtags.

5. Leverage user-generated content (UGC)

According to Sprout Social, user-generated content is 35% more memorable and 50% more trustworthy than other types of media creation.

This stat shows that user-generated content should play an important role in your Instagram-Pinterest strategy.

To take advantage of user-generated content, create a group board where your followers can post products of how they interact with your product or brand.

A good example is Gap’s collaborative board called Styl’d by You.

In this board, fashion bloggers and other clothing enthusiasts can show off how they style Gap clothing.

If done right, UGC has a snowball effect of higher engagement and more social followers.

How does this work?

When a follower pins content related to your brand, their followers see it. If any of these followers like the content and shares it, their own followers get to see the post — and the cycle continues. So, from just one post generated from a single user, tens to hundreds of people would get to know your brand.

The easiest way to start a UGC campaign is by starting a hashtag trend, creating a collaborative board that followers can post to, or working with influencers.

You can also feature the most creative followers on your Instagram account to increase engagement. Remember to ask permission first before using a user’s content to avoid being accused of theft.

6. Work with influencers

There are influencers on Pinterest who are known for their ability to design great Pinterest boards. Working with influencers can help boost your board’s engagement.

The key is to partner with influencers whose style matches your brand. Supply them with content from your Instagram account and allow them to take over some of your boards. The influencer can also create custom content on their own.

Give them the freedom to design the boards as they please. Since influencers already know the kind of content your target audience would love, you should see increased engagement and traffic to your boards.

Another advantage of working with influencers is that you get access to their followers. This is another effective way to increase your brand reach.

Tip: Instead of spending hours on social media scouting for influencers to work with, you can use an influencer marketing platform. The platform will provide a list of influencers and also present their statistics to you. All you would have to do is select the influencer that best suits your brand.

7. Pin when engagement is high

For maximum effect, pin when your audience engages with your content the most.

You can use Pinterest’s inbuilt analytics to determine when your audience is most active. Use that information and post regularly at those times to see higher engagement.

Additionally, reports from Oberlo show that the best time to post on Pinterest tends to be between 8 p.m and 11 p.m. Saturdays tend to be by far the best day to post on Pinterest. Sundays work well too. Work hours tend to be less popular for Pinterest users.

About author: Marvellous Aham-adi is a freelance writer and Head of Content at TheZeroed. Where he writes on growing a blog and actionable SEO strategies you can use in growing a brand. He has been featured in top blogs like Social Media Examiner, GetResponse, Mention, and Wordstream.