In my recent blog post Tips and Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World ’15, I shared the following fact that really has me rethinking the lack of priority I place on Pinterest marketing in my social media mix.
Don’t get me wrong, I pin almost every blog post I write, and I try to create imagery that is pinnable. But in general, I spend much less time focusing on Pinterest than I do on Facebook and Twitter. Yet Pinterest is now often used instead of Google by those searching for information! Given Pinterest’s popularity and the shelf life of a single pin compared to a status update or tweet, I am committed to giving Pinterest marketing just as much — or more — time as I give other social media channels. And if I’m going to make Pinterest a priority, I want to invest my time in Pinterest marketing with the smartest, most results-oriented methods possible! Today I’m sharing seven Pinterest tips I’ve used in the past and a few I’ve just recently discovered.
1. Create images at the optimal size for Pinterest.
Pins in the feed have a width of 238 pixels; the height is adjusted based on the size of the image. The maximum expanded width of a pin is 735 pixels (again, the height adjusts depending on the size of the image), so it makes sense to build images that take full advantage of that maximum width. To assure my pins stand out as much as possible, I create all my images at a width of 735 pixels.
2. Take advantage of Pinterest real estate.
Long, skinny images get re-pinned much more often than short or square images. It’s easy to understand why. Take a look at your home feed and notice which pins stand out the most. Typically the larger (i.e., longer) pins catch your eye. Why create short or square pins when Pinterest will gladly give you two or three times as much space on the home feed? I create all my pins longer, and I also try to include at least one vertical image in every blog post.
3. Include descriptive headlines on your images.
Take a look at your home feed. Which pins grab your attention? On my home feed, the pins that peak my interest are those that are nicely designed with a descriptive headline. Keep in mind that pinners frequently change the words in the description. The descriptive headline in the image obviously can’t be changed, so Pinterest viewers will always know what your pin is about.
4. Brand all images on your blog or website.
Almost from the beginning, I have been branding my “best” images (the ones I think others might pin) in each blog post. I usually didn’t bother to brand the images I thought people wouldn’t pin. But I recently discovered how to audit which images have been shared from my blog, and guess what? I haven’t always guessed right when it comes to what is being pinned organically. To do a quick check, type http://www.pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite.com into your browser. This will show you what pins are being organically shared from your website. By doing this, I discovered that one of my most-pinned images, Amp Up Your Instagram, was not branded (simply an oversight in this particular instance).
From now on, I plan on branding every image! Here’s the bottom line: Pinning your own content to Pinterest is great, but magic happens when others organically share it!
5. Properly label the images on your blog/website.
Take a few extra minutes to label every image you publish (alt text in WordPress) with information pertinent to a pin. As a result, this information will appear in the description of your pin. The best (albeit time-consuming) practice is to include your URL, blog title and short description within the image name. This description will appear as keywords below your image, thus making your pins easily searchable. Once again, I discovered my mishaps in this area when I did my audit.
The Punch 1 and Punch 3 labels certainly aren’t doing me any favors! I’ll going in to fix those so that future pins will be labeled properly.
6. Link your pins back to your website.
The obvious reason to do this is to drive traffic to your website. But there are other reasons to make sure you don’t skip this step. First, providing a link to a pin’s original source automatically makes the pin more valued and more pin-worthy. In addition, readers usually go to the source because they want more detailed information. Make it easy for them!
7. Include calls-to-action in your pins.
Everyone knows that a basic rule of advertising is to incorporate a call-to-action. Why should it be different on Pinterest? Including click here, comment below or repin this in every caption and/or image has the potential significantly increase traffic to your site.
Here is the image I created for this post:
I used PicMonkey to create this image as I do with everything I pin.
Start putting these tips to action today!
Or, pick one tip to begin implementing each week. Then sit back and watch Pinterest devotees pin your content! Do you have other powerful Pinterest tips? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
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