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How To Use Pinterest’s Group Boards To Get More Exposure For Your Business

In case you hadn’t noticed, Pinterest has been in the news a lot recently.How to use Pinterests Boards to get more exposure for your business

In November last year, Pinterest started courting the business community with the creation of its business-specific accounts  and a dedicated business support page.

Then earlier this month, Pinterest quietly raised a cool $200 million at an astonishing $2.5 billion valuation – not bad for a company that has yet to make a profit!

Most intriguing of all though was a study published last week by research center Pew. It suggested that Pinterest has grown so quickly, it’s now on course to catch Twitter in the battle for second place behind Facebook in the US social networking market.

These events indicate that Pinterest is quickly evolving from being last year’s hot new upstart to a legitimate social network that should be part of your marketing mix.

How can you maximize your time on Pinterest?

But how can you maximize your Pinterest activities without spending a ton of time on it? Well, along with scheduling your pins, one of the most effective but underutilized strategies to get more exposure from Pinterest is by using group boards.

Now, if you’re new to Pinterest, you may only know of regular boards that only you can pin to. You may have never have heard of group boards. Or maybe you have but you don’t know how to use them or don’t think they apply to you.

I’ve been dabbling with group boards over the past few months and have seen a dramatic increase in followers since I strategically introduced them to my Pinterest marketing.

So in this post I am going to demystify group boards, explain the advantages of using them and outline a few ways you can get started straightaway with this strategy.

What Are Pinterest’s Group Boards?

A group board works like a regular Pinterest board. The only difference is that along with the board creator, other people are also allowed to pin.

Group boards go under many different names – shared boards, contributor boards, community boards and collaborative boards. Regardless the term, they are all exactly the same thing.

There is currently no directory of Pinterest group boards. In order to distinguish a group board from a regular one you need to look out for the group icon at the top of a board when you are browsing someone’s page.

This snapshot of Jeff’s Pinterest page clearly shows that the board on the left, “For The Home”, is one of Jeff’s own, whilst the two other boards have contributors.

Jeffs Pinterest page

Key Benefits of Using Group Boards

Group boards are not only a great way to organize ideas and bring people together, but they can also have real tangible benefits for your brand and business.

#1. Dramatically boost your followers

If users select to “follow all” of any contributor’s boards, then they will be added as followers to a group board you are part of. The increased exposure and visibility you get through group boards will increase your follower growth at a faster rate.

#2. Exponentially increase the number of repins

The more followers you have the more likely they (and their followers) are to see your content, repin your pins and click through to your website. This means more traffic to your site and potentially more subscribers, customers and clients.

#3. Put your pinning virtually on autopilot

Implement this strategy correctly and you could get other people creating content for.

Certainly at the start, Pinterest can be time-consuming but managed well, you could soon have a team of people perpetuating your content for you across their networks.

#4. Increase engagement and create brand ambassadors

Your customers may already be liking, commenting and sharing your content with their followers on Pinterest. But inviting them to pin to your brand’s group board will get them more engaged and involved in your online conversation.

It will also elevate them to the role of brand ambassadors, who their followers are more likely to take note of.

Let’s take a look now at some ways you can harness the power of group boards in your business.

How Can Businesses Use Group Boards?

  • Collaboration – are you working with other people, employees or co-workers on a specific project? Use group boards to share industry-specific tips, training materials and resources. Make the board “secret” if you want to keep the information under wraps.
  • Planning – are you a wedding planner, interior designer or in charge of an event that requires input from others? Invite the stakeholders to join you on a group board where you can collect and share design ideas, compare menus, color schemes, flower arrangements, room layouts, fabric samples and so on.
  • Promotion– thinking of running a contest, raising funding for your big idea or promoting a worthy cause? Group boards are perfect for engaging your audience, getting customers to interact with your brand as well as sharing data, statistics, success stories etc to raise awareness about your brand or a particular issue.
  • Networking – why not invite other pinners to pin about a common topic and expand your network at the same time? Bloggers especially can benefit from group boards by using them to connect with other bloggers and actively repinning each other’s content as part of a blogging network.
  • Authority – are you knowledgeable about a particular subject area? Create a themed group board and contribute regularly to build credibility and establish yourself as a thought leader to the board’s followers.

How To Create A Contributor Board

Go to the Pinterest home page and click on the Add + tab at the top of the page.

How to create a contributor board

Then select the option to Create a Board.

Create a Pinterest board

Next choose a name for your new board, select a category and whether you want to make it a private (secret) board or a public one.

The final step is to decide who you want to add as a contributor.

How to add contributors

How To Add Contributors

There are two ways to make someone a contributor:

  • You can type their email address into the Who can pin? field. Pinterest will email them an invitation and prompt them to join Pinterest if they haven’t done so already.
  • The easier way is to simply add the username of a pinner you would like to invite. The only condition is that you must be following them first.

As you start typing their name, Pinterest will automatically bring up all the potential matches i.e. people with those initial letters in their username.

Who can Pin

Just select the names you want to add as contributors, click invite and then save your settings using the Create Board button.

Pinterest will send an invitation from you, the board creator, to the invitees to join your board. When they accept, they can pin on the same board with you and the group board will appear on every contributor’s page.

You can of course make any of your current boards into a group board. Just follow the steps above from How To Add Contributors.

A word of caution.

Pinterest will send you a notification each time a contributor pins to a group board. I recommend you turn off these notifications to avoid bombarding your inbox with unnecessary emails.

Just select the group board in question, click the Edit Board button and turn off the notifications tab.

Keep An Eye On Your Contributors And Group Boards

Remember that you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) accept every invitation you get to join a group board. Be selective.

Check to make sure that the board is on-brand for your business and a good fit for your audience before agreeing to join. The number of followers on a group board is another metric to take note of; the more followers a group board has, the greater the exposure you can expect for your business.

When you follow a group board, you will be able to see all of the content that is currently on that board. Any new pins that get added to this group board will also appear on your Pinterest feed, regardless of the person who is pinning the images.

There is currently no way to filter which pins you can see.

This means that you might see pins from people you are not directly following which could include inappropriate content and spam.

Make a point of regularly monitoring your feed and respond quickly if you spot something undesirable by taking one of the following actions:

How To Remove Someone From A Group Board

If you would like to remove someone you have added to a particular group board just select the group board, and click on the Remove tab next to their name.

You can also delete the board entirely if you created it by hitting the Delete Board on the far right.

How to remove someone from a group board

How To Leave A Group Board

In the example below, you can see Jeff was added to someone else’s Marketing Infographics board and that he can leave any time. 

Leaving a pinterest board

Pinterest will prompt you by asking if you are sure you want to leave the group board, just click Leave again and you will be permanently removed from that board.

Final Words

It’s important not to go overboard with this strategy and send out blanket invitations to all your followers. Not everyone welcomes group board invitations especially persistent ones so be careful not to annoy people!

In fact, the Pinterest blog recommends that you should only send invitations to Pinterest users who have expressed an interest in your pins and to avoid sending out repeat requests.

One way of encouraging people to join your group boards is to add a line in the board description. You could state that you welcome contributors and that anyone interested in joining the board should add a comment against a pin.

So there you have it, a whirlwind tour of Pinterest’s group boards.

What do you think? Is this a strategy you’ll be trying out? Or have you already set up a few group boards? Please comment below and share how they are working out for you.

Guest Author: Tehmina is an entrepreneur, business strategist and Pinterest marketing expert. You can connect with her at EpreneurTV where she blogs about building an online business. You can also download her free ebook to learn how to master Pinterest in the shortest time possible.



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Jeffbullas's Blog


  • I am part of a number of group boards but those board followers have not automatically become my followers, so not sure about that point above.

    • You are correct Suzanne, sorry for the confusion. Only those followers who have chosen to follow “all the boards” of a contributor will show up on the group board. Thanks Tehmina

  • great post! really informative.. Thanks for sharing…

    • Thank you Jubert, pleased you found it helpful 🙂

  • Thanks for the comment Doris. The numbers are sometimes murky and the reason that the latest post has some discrepancy is that it was guest post. What I do know is that Facebook is over 1 billion, Twitter is over 200 million and so is LinkedIn. Instagram now has 100 million monthly users and Pinterest is similar numbers. The Google+ numbers have been stated as over 400 million monthly users but I have hard that the number is based upon interacting with the red +1 button which is in Gmail, reader etc. I think it is time for a blog post to look at an update which takes a closer look and various sources on the the latest number for the major social networks! 🙂

    • Thanks Doris and Jeff. I agree, the different numbers being bandied about can be confusing. The stats I refer to regarding Pinterest and Twitter refer to the USA only, currently where the majority of Pinterest users reside.

  • Great post, Tehmina! I’m a big fans of PInterest as it has the potential to drive some serious traffic to your website or blog. My guess is that Pinterest will be huge in a few years time!

    • Thanks Kris, great to meet a fellow Pinterest fan 🙂 I suggest you check out Repinly to find the most popular boards, many of which are group boards.

    • Lark

      You can also browse http://www.pinterest.com/groupboardclub/boards/ It is a small directory of (about 145) group boards.

  • I’m headed to our boards right now! This was great post — I’ve had group boards in the back of my mind for some time, and you’ve prompted me to get on it. Thanks!


    • Great to see you’ve been inspired to give them a go 🙂

  • Jeff – thanks for sharing the guest blog post from Tehmina. One thing you may want to check with them is their comment:”If you join a group board with hundreds or thousands of followers they will automatically become your followers too. More followers means greater exposure.”

    If you do participate in a board that has a number of collaborators, they are not automatically subscribed and become a follower. People choose to follow who they wish. Of course being a member of an active community board on Pinterest can build your following – just as being a member of a LinkedIn Group can. As always it is going to be based on your contribution and content being of interest to others.

    • Thank you Krishna for joining the conversation. You’re absolutely right and that comment has been amended to clear up any confusion.

  • “If you join a group board with hundreds or thousands of followers they will automatically become your followers too. ” isn’t actually the case. The followers of that board will SEE your pins but unless they click through to your profile and follow you, they do not follow you.
    Melissa Taylor, author of Pinterest Savvy: How I Got 1 Million+ Followers

    • Thank you Melissa for pointing that out, the post has been amended 🙂

  • P.S. I should add that you are always a great resource (and I recommend you in my book, Pinterest Savvy) — and I totally agree that collaborative boards will help grow your website traffic if you’re only pinning your own content. 🙂

  • My pleasure 🙂

  • Trisha A, Tulane University

    I am an avid personal Pinterest user, who has seen Pinterest popping up on Shopping websites and such in order to “Pin” their products to spread interest. Through my experience though, I never realized how popular Pinterest was getting and that it was even a close second to Facebook. I have been having trouble increasing my presence on Pinterest and expanding my following for the things I post. This blog is an excellent resource about how I can be more active! I’m excited to expand my followers on my personal page with these tips! Thanks!

    • That’s awesome Trisha, good luck with taking your Pinterest page to the next level 🙂

  • Hi Tehmina, Great article. I have been joining group Pinterest boards for a few months now and have noticed a dramatic increase in my Pinterest followers and repins. Pinterest is quickly becoming a way to get your visual message out to the world.

    I hadn’t taken the time to fully explore the basics of Pinterest group boards. Thanks for your very clear explanation and suggestions for what to do and what not to do.

    • You are most welcome Carolyn and best of luck with the group boards strategy!

  • Whilst i agree that Pinterest is great for driving traffic, i dont think it works for every type of business. While it works well for eCommerce businesses or any other business that uses pictures to sell, it may not work well for Lawyers, accountants e.t.c. I’ll say it is best to know what social media platform will be most effective for marketing a particular business prior to launching a campaign.

    • I disagree Sanmi. In my experience service-based businesses can leverage Pinterest as well as (if not better) than e-commerce ones because they generally have more scope to create content in different formats. It does require more creativity but the potential is definitely there.

  • I am part of a group of twenty-ish female bloggers. We all have Pinterest accounts ranging from 400 to 2,000 Pinterest followers. If we set up a group board for all of us to pin to, does it help if we set it up under the account with the most followers? Would this give us the best chance for the most repins? Or is the total followers cumulative for the board and does not matter under which account it resides. Thanks!

    • That is a very good question! I would create it under the biggest page with the most engagement. This will naturally have more authority and get you and the other bloggers a lot of exposure from the outset. Hope that helps 🙂

  • If I add people to be contributors on a group board can they invite people to be contributors also?

    • Yes Andrew that is correct, thank you for posing such a great question! Tehmina

  • Thanks Michelle, delighted you found it helpful 🙂 Tehmina

  • David Minot

    So, if I am a member of a group, when pinning to the group, should I also pin the same thing to my own board?

    • Hi David, when you join a group board, it shows up on your Pinterest page together with all its content. So you don’t need to pin the image again to another board. However, if it is your own content, I do recommend re-pinning it to another board to get it in front of more followers. Hope that helps!

  • Help! How do you find EXISTING group boards to join?

    • Hey Michelle, there is no directory of group boards but you could try Pinerly or use the Pinterest search feature.

  • Help! How do you leave a group board in the new Pinterest? I don’t see the ‘leave’

    • Hi Georgina, the new look is still a bit buggy and I’ve also noticed that a lot of the features we are used to seem to come and go. If you still can’t leave the group board then I suggest emailing Pinterest support.

  • I want to leave a few groups. But there is no Leave button anymore, since the new layout. How do i get rid of these groups, i don’t want to join any longer??

    • Hi Cynthia, yes the new look is still buggy and will become permanent for everyone in a few weeks. If however you have already switched over, you can now no longer switch back. I suggest you email Pinterest support to help you leave the group boards you wish to remove yourself from.

  • Tess

    Hi. I am a member of several group boards, but none of them show up under my Pinterest tab on Facebook. They all show as boards under my actual Pinterst account, though. Does a group board only show for the owner when being displayed on Facebook through the Pinterest tab application?

    • Thanks for your question Tess, I’m not sure which Pinterest Tab you are using on Facebook. I use the Woo Pinterest tab, and it shows the group boards I am a member of and creator of. Maybe it’s worth changing to this one or if you have it already, reinstalling it? Hope that helps! Tehmina

  • Hi Tehmina,

    Very nice and comprehensive post about Pinterest and how
    groups work. I did read part of it when it first came out but didn’t finish
    when I read the part that Melissa is referring to.

    This time I finished reading it and I would
    like to make a couple of points

    – The creator of the group board derives by far
    the most benefit since any post that somebody likes and which leads to a follow
    will most likely be of the group board and increase his followers

    – When you create a group board then you suddenly
    have to police the content and the contributors since they can pin anything.
    That can be very time consuming for group boards with hundreds of contributors
    and maybe 30 – 50 or even more new pins every day.

    – In addition, when you join lots of group boards
    you dilute your own account’s space. If you have 10 boards and you join 10 group
    boards then 50% of YOUR space has now been allocated to somebody else’s boards.
    Of course you will put them at the bottom but that doesn’t make a major

    – Lastly, I would like to point out that it is entirely
    possible to get 150 – 200 targeted (yes, targeted)new followers every single
    day without pinning at all and without being a contributor to any group boards
    or being the creator of any group boards

    As of now I do not see the cost-benefit of joining group
    boards being positive. I’m not sure about creating your own group boards.

    Thank you again for a great post about Pinterest.

    • Thanks for that great summary Jorgen, I agree that you should tread carefully with group boards. I recommend people only join boards/invite contributors that are congruent with their brand to avoid, as you rightly say, diluting their brand message and cluttering up their page.Tehmina

  • Shannon Foster

    i was wondering if there is an easier way to invite people to my group boards? One at a time takes forever…..

    • Unfortunately not at the moment Shannon. Thanks Tehmina

  • Jason Dinner

    Yes! I see the tremendous value in group boards, but you didn’t talk about how to get on someone else’s group board. Can you write a post about that? Or just tell me here 🙂

    • There are various ways Jason; if the board owner has specified how to join their boards eg by commenting or emailing them it’s best to do that. Otherwise, you can try commenting on a pin of the board you are interested in. Many pinners turn off email notifications so you could also try connecting with the board owner via Facbook or Twitter if that information is listed. Hope that helps! Tehmina

  • Kathja Hirt

    Hi Tehmina

    I have just created a group board do i only have the power to invite people or can other member invite too? Is there a way that other users can ask to join my board with out me having to invite them first?

    • Hi Kathja, you can send out invites to a group board to anyone whom you are following already. You could also add a line in the board description asking people to comment or email you if they want to join a specific board. Once you add a contributor to a group board, they can then invite others.Thanks Tehmina

      • Trillium

        Right now I am having problems with a collaborative board. The collaborators can only invite their own followers to the collaborative boards. The collaborators are not able to make invites to the collaborative board followers. Really screwy. I wanted the collaborators to be able to add followers to any of the boards they follow but now I guess I have to do all the invites for those who follow the collaborative boards.

  • Haluk Çetin

    Thanks Jeff

  • Starting using Pinterest a short time ago, really enjoy viewing all the photos and links to interesting websites. Just getting started with the Group stuff. Thanks for sharing!

    • That’s awesome, good luck with your pinning Robert! Tehmina

  • Yes Carmen that is a great way to get noticed and accepted onto a group board. Thank you for adding that tip 🙂 Tehmina

  • Carol Fields

    Help…I started a group board, invited guests, clicked saved and do not see the icon for group near the name of the board…does that mean it did not work?

  • I would contact Pinterest customer services Mary, you are doing it correctly but there seems to be a bug on your account. Thanks Tehmina

  • Thanks for sharing! I found out that joining group boards with discussions about my business, is really effective.

  • Thanks Leah, Let me know how you get on. Tehmina

  • Jessica Kay

    Great post! I found a group board I am really interested in posting to, but i don’t know how to find out who the original owner of the board is. I will have to find a way to contact them for an invite right?

  • this is great post. I would love to see more interesting tips on this site!.this is my blog social media speaker

  • siddaiah thiruptai

    Hi Tehmina,
    I was searching where to get the information about Pinterest groups, finally i landed here, learned basic things about Pinterest groups, now i have to concentrate on engagement with them, thanks for sharing such a informative article about PInterest groups.

  • BluePotion

    I have a few group boards. Every time someone pins to it I get a notification on top. I would like to turn that off and only see repins like before. I have turned off email notifications which was easy. Thanks :))

  • Awesome tips, thank you!

  • Chris

    Hello! How to pin to someone’ group board?

  • hi.
    I want to know how to find my board url in google search ?

  • Thanks for this post, it was really helpful for me. 🙂