Photo: Jennifer Chong via Pinterest
Jennifer Chong is the second-most followed person on Pinterest.(Jane Wang, the mother of Pinterest’s CEO and cofounder Ben Silbermann, is first.)
With 2 million+ followers, Chong has more Pinterest followers than San Francisco has people — by double.
Chong isn’t famous. She didn’t do anything extraordinary to amass Pinterest followers. She’s a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design and now she’s an art director at a Los Angeles company, Go! Productions.
But Chong is an avid Pinterest user who joined the site early on. She has 54 pinboards and has pinned more than 4,000 pictures.
The Huffington Post conducted an interview with Chong. Here’s how she gained millions of Pinterest followers:
- She joined early. Chong joined Pinterest in 2010 when a blogger she follows, Victoria Smith, invited a bunch of readers to join the photo sharing site. Pinterest didn’t start getting a lot of attention until September 2011.
- Chong didn’t use self promotion to gain Pinterest followers. She just uses the service a lot, more than most other social sites. “I don’t really tweet,’ she says. “I do blog, but I wouldn’t say that I’m a ‘blogger.'” In fact, Chong stopped blogging frequently when she started using Pinterest. She says pinning is easier and it’s a creative outlet.
- She gained followers by accident. Before Chong knew it, she had 300,000 followers on Pinterest. Chong didn’t realise how many followers she had until a friend pointed them out last fall. “I don’t really know how I got that many!” says Chong.
- Press helped her amass even more followers. Although she got 300,000 followers by accident, a Mashable article featured her as one of the most-followed people on Pinterest, and a slew of people flocked to her page.
- Of course, Pinterest’s slightly sketchy sign up process probably helped her gain followers. Many people don’t realise who they’re following on Pinterest; Pinterest recommends people for new users to follow and they have to opt-out, rather than opt-in, to the suggested people. Chong was likely a frequently recommended person to follow on Pinterest.
- Chong uses Pinterest as frequently as she uses email. Chong uses Pinterest daily, often to find design inspiration or recipes. “I don’t sit down and say, ‘Oh I’ll spend an hour on Pinterest,'” says Chong. “It’s like the way I use email: When I see an email come in, I respond to it (usually!). But I never only check my email during a certain time.”
- She follows other people with large Pinterest followings. Some of Chong’s favourite people to follow on Pinterest are Satsuki Shibuya, Bonnie Tsang and Amanda Jane Jones.
- She’s a designer. Because Chong is a designer, the things that interest her are naturally more interesting to the visual Pinterest community.
- Her pins create discussions. Chong says one of the most “controversial” things she’s ever posted on Pinterest was an infographic comparing bacon to a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast (hint: eat bacon). It generated a bunch of comments.
For more ways to gain social media followers, check out: 16 Terrible Social Media Mistakes You’re Probably Making >