The automation of social networking is a subject with many connotations, rules and practices.
Using services like Pinbot to automate Pinterest requires a certain mentality, one I can assume you have because you’re here, reading this article.
The basic gist: If you’re going to automate your social networking on Pinterest (or any other social network) you’ll need to use proxies so that the rule-breaking can’t traced back to you.
Don’t let that scare you, though. Nobody plays by the rules.
How Automation Is Viewed and How it Really Works
In general the networks themselves — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. — are against automation.
This is grounded in a concept that should be familiar to you already: humans use social networks. If you think that robots use social networks, that dogs use it, that aliens use it, you are at an impasse with the companies themselves, who are hell-bent on making sure that individual humans are actually doing all the networking on their platforms.
In the early days of social networks this made a lot of sense. It was a place to connect and share ideas with your friends.
In 2016, however, social media is one of the most profitable and growing forms of marketing on the planet. You grandmother, the one whose friend request you won’t accept, is being marketed to every time she opens a social network app on her iPad. Businesses are marketing to other businesses and celebrities are marketing themselves, just like you and your friends market your lives to each other now.
All of this goes to show that while humans are supposed to be interacting on these social networks, in reality there are corporations with the money-making motivations.
Thus enters the age of social networking automation.
Ford created the factory line to increase productivity for his company. That’s essentially what computers do at a base level. It’s no surprise then that this form of once-happy-and-free interaction is now being automated by corporations and individuals alike in order to increase the productivity of their accounts.
Pinterest, Pinbot and Proxies
Some of you may think Pinterest is a baby social network compared to the others mentioned above. Well, it is compared to Facebook, but so is every other network.
Pinterest has over 100 million active users, and one of the fastest growth trajectories of any social networking site around. What’s more, the users of Pinterest tend to actually buy the things that are being marketed toward them.
A number of studies have showed that Pinterest is used in the majority by women, the majority of whom buy products at a higher rater than other networks.
This alone is a reason to get into Pinterest, and likely a reason you have come to this article.
What is Pinbot
When any social network reaches a critical mass of users the coders crack their fingers and begin to develop automation tools. It’s how this game works.
Pinbot was created in 2013 by Ilya Nevolin, and it’s hardly the first automated Pinterest tool. You can get a bot for your Pinterest on sites like Github, but Pinbot is a full-service suite that goes above and beyond these creations.
Pinbot takes every essential element of Pinterest and gives you the ability to automate all of it. You can tweak almost every aspect of the automation process too, ensuring that you don’t get banned or flagged, upset your user base, or look like a spam account.
The main features of Pinbot (and therefore Pinterest) can be seen below:
1. Scraping and pinning unique images
Pinterest is all about pinning images — thus the name, “pin” what “interests” you.
Pinning is done by creating an account and a board, or multiple boards. Your board typically has a name and a specific theme, and you pin any and all images that fit the theme to that board. The board is searchable by other users, and if people like your collection of images they will begin to follow you, repin, and like you.
As a business, your first and primary strategy should be to create a number of boards that focus on different aspects of your niche and pin images to those boards.
Pinbot automates this process in two ways, both of which save time.
The first is that you can save images to Evernote, your hard-drive, or somewhere else and load them into Pinbot to be pinned later. This means you are still curating the selection of images, but you are automating the pinning process. You can set a week’s worth of pins in a few hours like this — just make sure to follow Pinbot’s instructions for correct tagging and categorization.
Second, you can use the scraping tool in Pinbot to find images for you, and then tell it to pin them to your boards. This is trickier because it hands the image-finding reins over to a robot. Only do this if you plan to master the system Pinbot uses to find (scrape) these images. It will find images based on keywords and use sites like Tumblr to search for good matches.
If you set all of this to automate you’ll want to watch it closely in the beginning, because no scraper is going to be right 100% of the time.
2. Repin niche relevant images
You can pin images to your board, thereby bringing them into the Pinterest community. The next step is to repin someone else’s pinned images. This is basically like a retweet, in that it gives social love to another user, and then shows up on your own board.
This, obviously, is a great way to build community.
You can set this service to automate with Pinbot, but like the last step you’ll want to dial in the specifics of how it does this so it’s not grabbing strange (or disturbing) images and putting them on your board.
Pinbot does have the parameters to make this possible, so get into your tech mindset and learn.
3. Invite users to pin on your boards
Your boards can be set so that only you can post to them, or they can be Group Boards that allow multiple people to post.
As a business you’ll want a number of boards, some which are always for your own posting, but group posting on Pinterest is one of the best ways to encourage customers to interact and influence your brand.
This is a standout feature for Pinbot, because it lets you manage multiple board’s access from its own software platform.
You’ll need to dial in the specific settings for this because you don’t want untested or harmful posters with access to your boards, so I advise to use this feature sparingly, but effectively.
4. Like and Comment on Pins
These are really two different things that have a wide range of impact, especially when automated.
Liking other pins on Pinterest is a great way to seamlessly social network. They will receive a notification of your like, you will potentially gain a follower. Not too much harm done.
Commenting, however, has a much more serious interaction and scope. To comment automatically you’ll need to load in specific comments, which can get tricky. I don’t recommend commenting automatically — actually using words as your brand on other people’s pins can get out of hand fast, especially if your settings aren’t dialed in.
5. Follow and Unfollow
As with most social media networks, you can follow and unfollow users in Pinterest. Both your followers and following are publicly visible on Pinterest, so you’ll want to make sure the “Following” number doesn’t skyrocket past how many followers you have.
That said, dialing in a solid follow automation can be incredibly effective at growing your audience. Often a well-placed follow from a brand gets a follow in return. If you do this 24/7 at timed intervals you will continually gain followers.
With that in mind, Pinbot also allows you to automatically unfollow people, and has the nifty feature of unfollowing people who don’t follow you (even after you’ve followed them). This becomes dishonest if overly used, so tread carefully. However, it’s a great way to clean up your profile after a heavy follow batch.
7. Send Automated Messages to Followers
If you want to keep it very simple, sending an automated message to new followers that says, “Thanks for the follow!” is generally alright.
Some marketers will go beyond this and include a link to their website or business, and while this can be effective you want to be careful. Nobody loves getting a spam link the second they follow someone (some people don’t even want a message), so proceed with caution.
General Advice for Pinbot
The above methods of automation are all great, but, as I said in many of the points, don’t set and forget the program without some solid trial and error research, preferably with a dummy Pinterest account.
The second you automate anything you have the potential to greatly offend customers and devalue your brand (not to mention get an account blocked or deleted). Take note of what works, how it works, and how to get Pinbot doing what you need it to do.
Proxies for Pinbot
The best way to keep out of serious trouble with Pinterest automation (and any social network) is to use proxies. Specifically, private proxies.
The founder of Pinbot recommends using proxies if you have three or more Pinterest accounts, but stresses a proxy per account. Even if you’re using under three accounts, the second you start automating with Pinbot you’ll want to grab some proxies just to clear your actual IP address off any records.
Free proxies can be used, but they’ll fail and you’ll have to reload often.
Your best bet is paid proxies, and you can use shared or totally private. For the best results without hassle, private proxies are always the way to go because you’ll be the only one accessing the port.
The Pinbot founder also says that HTTPS proxies are the best for Pinbot, but HTTP will work as well. SOCKS proxies typically don’t work for this kind of software.
Enter Proxies into Pinbot
Once you have decided on a proxy provider, the uploading process is very simple. When you add a Pinterest account to Pinbot, you’ll have to enter the email address and password associated with that account.
In the same box you’ll see a “Use Proxy” checkbox, and the space to enter your proxy information. So, when creating any account you can easily input your proxy information. This makes it easy to keep a single proxy tied to one Pinterest account, which is what I recommend.
If your proxies have email and password authorization, you can enter that information here. If they are authorized by IP, make sure you are not using a VPN or proxy service when you add the Pinterest account into Pinbot.
The only flaw with this is that the proxies need to be updated manually if one were to get banned or blocked, which might happen depending on your usage.
Pinbot is a robust offering in the automation world, and it’s still not incredibly popular. This means you can use it under the radar on Pinterest, which has more lax security than sites like Twitter or eBay when it comes to automation.
The best part, though, is the stellar customer service. If you’re a total noob in this field, don’t worry. The founder is very active on Black Hat World and ready to help customers navigate the process. He has included a plethora of content to help you make money and utilize the software efficiently via his VIP package, which you’ll get access to when you purchase the software.
Remember not to overwhelm the system with activity, fly under that human-oriented radar, and you’ll have Pinterest automated in no time.