Pinterest has been said to be “the new Google” in terms of being used as a search engine for finding quality articles.
The problem is, too many bloggers and business owners (or their social media marketing managers) don’t actually know how to use Pinterest efficiently. Their pictures are the wrong sizes, they have no verbage on them, the descriptions are often meaningless, and nobody really gets what the pin is all about.
You know what I do when I see a pin like that? I ignore it. I completely overlook it — that is, if I noticed it at all.
So with 70 million people using Pinterest (and about 500,000 of those being business accounts), what do you need to do to make some sort of impact on the social media giant?
If you — as a blogger or business owner — are to make your presence known on Pinterest, you have to first learn how to use Pinterest efficiently.
So how do you promote your blog on Pinterest the right way?
Build Your Brand Awareness on Pinterest
Would you recognize something made by Nike? How about a Coca-Cola product? Of course, you would. They have been building their brand for decades. Everything they do has a certain look, specific fonts and colors, and a consistent overall message.
If you have a logo, use it! If you have a certain tagline for your blog, use that too. Use it everywhere — especially on Pinterest!
Fill in your profile description as much as you can. Be sure to include the tagline for your site in the description. The more information you can give about yourself and your brand, the easier it will be for people to understand what your message is. Also, be sure to link-up your other social media sites in your profile.
Just like your profile itself, each of your Pinterest boards has a place for a description. Fill it out with as much information as you can describing what the board is all about.
It’s best to make your Pinterest boards about specific topics — instead of just “gardening”, make them “container gardening”, “raised bed gardening”, etc. Make it as easy as possible for people to find your information.
Use a Good Picture
This may seem obvious to some of you, but I’ll explain it anyway. Take a good picture, or make a good graphic. Dark, underexposed pictures (or super-bright, overexposed ones) are hard to look at. Your eyes have to do too much work to decipher what the image is, and most people will completely overlook it.
Make your photo something that will instantly capture the viewer’s interest — this IS Pinterest, after all.
Use the Correct Size Image
I cannot stress this point enough. I have seen SO many images that were way too small, or they were awkward dimensions. Tall images get more attention than short, wide ones.
AuthorMedia.com has a great “Pinterest Cheat Sheet” to help you understand the image sizes for everything to do with Pinterest.
When you see an image in your feed, the width is 238px. When you click it, and the pin expands, the optimal image width is 735px. The height (of both) are adjusted proportionally.
735px by 1102px is the “ultimate” optimal size for a Pinterest image that stands out, but isn’t so long you have to scroll down three pages to see it all.
Add Text on the Image
When I’m scrolling through Pinterest, I like to know what I’m looking at without a whole lot of digging. Most people are the same way. If I see an image with descriptive text on it, I instantly know what to expect.
If your image has no text, it may be unclear what you’re trying to tell us. For instance, if you’re promoting an article about growing corn, and your picture is of your garden with multiple plants, we won’t know what your post is about. Add those words, folks!
Include a Good Description
When you’re pinning something, be sure to add a description here, too. The words on your image may be enough to convey your message, but the description is where you let us know a little more about what you’re pinning.
When you’re writing your descriptions (for your profile, boards and pins), be sure you’re using good keywords. Think about what you would type into a Google search to find what you’re describing, and use those words. Use the keywords you’ve used in the article you’ve written (you know, the one you’re pinning).
If you’re not part of the hashtag revolution, catch up. This is the 21st century. People hashtag everything now.
Basically your keywords are your hashtags. If you’re pinning an article about permaculture, be sure to add #permaculture to the description.
Add a Watermark to Your Image
Adding a watermark is dual purpose. It discourages thieves from stealing your image, but more importantly, it adds to your brand awareness. Whether you’re adding a logo, or just your web address (or, like mine, both), it let’s someone who is looking at the image instantly know more about what they’re looking at.
Apply for Rich Pins
Rich pins are pins that include added information without you having to add it yourself. Basically it automatically adds an excerpt from the article from your blog — even if you aren’t the one pinning it.
You have to apply for rich pins. When you’ve been approved, all pins coming from your site (again, whether you’re the pinner or not) will have descriptive information pulled with it automatically.
Tips to Improve Your Brand on Pinterest
Pin from Other People
Along with pinning your own material, you should also pin things from other people relative to your niche. Keyphrase: “relative to your niche”. If you’re an art blogger, it’s not productive for you to pin stuff about automotive maintenance. Sure, it’s helpful information, but if people are looking at your boards, they’re there for your art stuff.
Pin Quality Content
Make sure that what you are pinning is quality content with great images. Don’t just pin something because the picture is cool — follow the link and read the article. If it’s not something you agree with, don’t pin it. Keep in mind that people do actually follow these links. If you’re pinning something that doesn’t hold water, your followers will begin to think you feel the same way as the people you’re pinning from.
Pin to Group Boards
Seek out group boards that also fit your niche. You can message the owner of the board and ask if they will allow you to join their group. Pinning your stuff (not other people’s) to group boards is a good idea because there are many people pinning to the board, so it (should be) very active.
Create a Board with Just Your Blog Posts
While you will definitely want to pin your stuff to your topic-specific boards, you should also create a board where you only pin your own stuff. Call it “Best of _________” or something of the like. This will let people know that they’ll only find your articles there without having to filter through dozens of other pins.
Repin Your Pins
When you write a new article, my recommendation is pin it (initially) to your “Best of” board. Then, from there, pin it to any other boards that apply. The reason is that 1 pin that is repinned 7 times will get more attention than 8 new pins. That one pin will show more activity, and Pinterest will “rank it” higher. It also increases the likelihood of people viewing that pin to seeing the more of your articles in the “Also found on [Best of ___]”. In other words – they’re seeing more of your stuff.
Pin Daily, but Spread Them Out
You should be pinning 5-30 new items a day in order to keep your followers engaged. However, you don’t want to pin them all at the same time. Spread out the frequency. Pin no more than 2-3 in an hour’s time so you’re not coming off too “spammy” to your followers OR to Pinterest.
Ok, there’s actually a LOT to learn to be able to use Pinterest efficiently, but too much information at one time is overload. What I’ve written here are the bare-bones basics. It’s how to use Pinterest efficiently from the ground up instead of from the top down.
Get into the habit of creating good pins that people WANT to repin, and they’ll start repinning them.
…and remember, as with anything, it takes a while to really get noticed — be patient.