Pinterest is the shiny new toy of the social media world. It’s only been around since March 2010 and it’s already giving the other big social media outlets like Twitter, YouTube and Google+ a run for their money. No, it’s not bigger than Facebook, but it IS a big deal - especially for those of us in design-centric industries where photos of our creations take center stage. Here are some tips we pulled on how to be REALLY good on Pinterest (and increase your website traffic while you’re at it!)
1. SEO applies to Pinterest too!
You can optimize your Pinterest profile with the same keywords you used on your website to help potential new clients find you via Pinterest and your home site.* It’s not hard, just a bit tedious. Here are the main points:
- Change your URL to help people find you. Just click on “Settings” in the upper right hand corner.
- Fill our your profile description based on who you are and what you do, making sure to include those keywords. Also, remember to list your website - don’t make people guess at your home siteURL.
- Use keywords in your own boards and your board descriptions. Instead of “Ooooh So Pretty”, try “Summer Wedding Inspiration” instead. To change an existing board title, click on a board, then click “Edit”.
- Make sure every image you pin has a link (especially those from your own website, or your own photos - not someone else’s repins). To edit, click the “Edit” button from the pin, and fill out the info there.
- Use keywords in the description of everything you pin and repin, but don’t be spammy. One or two keywords that help your photos get found will suffice. Love that cute kitten photo? Try using “Cute kitten!” instead of just “So cute!!!” in the description.
*Haven’t optimized your website yet? Read our SEO Cheat Sheet that was published on Design*Sponge in 2011 to read more about WHY it’s so important and HOW to go about it:
2. Find out what people are pinning from your website
It’s possible to see WHAT people are pinning from your website, as well as WHO is pinning. It’s simple: Type this into a browser window: http://pinterest.com/source/yoursitename.com/
And you get this:
Use this information to drive future website and blog content. The more you know what people are liking (and pinning) from your site, the better off you will be!
3. Add the “Pin It” button to your website and blog
Make it easy for people to pin things from your site. If they have to scroll all the way over to the “Pin It” bookmark saved somewhere at the bottom of their Bookmarks Bar, they may just abandon ship entirely.
Make it easy - with a “Pin It” button staring them in the face, who could resist? A little reminder doesn’t hurt, either. If it’s a blog, add the button to every single post.
4. Add a Pinterest feed to your website, blog, or Facebook Page
Show people a preview of what you love without having to visit your Pinterest page (or if they are NOT on Pinterest yet, give them a preview of what they’re missing out on).
If you’re using Wordpress, there is a plugin called the Pinterest RSS Widget that makes this easy to do. We pull one of our boards through to our Facebook page with a little wizarding magic... give us a call if you’re interested in having us do this for you too!
P.S. Did you know? 83% of Pinterest users are women. If your target audience is largely made up of women, do yourself a favor and use Pinterest to help drive your business!
5. Start Using Viraltag
Have you ever been at the beach on a Saturday afternoon mentally kicking yourself for not remembering to pin a few things before grabbing your beach bag and sashaying out the door? Well, there’s an app for that.
It’s called “Viraltag”, and it allows you to schedule pins to come out for those times when you just can’t be at the computer. Taking a vacation? You’re covered. Have an important date planned (including a full two hours to decide what to wear)? Viraltag’s got your back.
Head over to Viraltag.com and sign up for your free trial. Scheduling pins is easy - find that perfect image to pin, and hit the Viraltag button from your favorites bar (check out details on their website for how to get it there). Pick your day, time, and board, and you’re finished. You don’t ever have to feel guilty for not being near your computer during prime pinning times again. Hop on Viraltag and have your whole day of pins scheduled in just 15-30 minutes.
6. And a Few More Helpful Tips...
There are a few more helpful tips for Pinterest we’ve picked up that are so simple, yet downright GENIUS:
1. If it’s appropriate (and you’re comfortable with it), use a picture of you (or someone from your company) as your profile picture instead of a logo. People engage with a brand or website more if they can see the (wo)man behind the curtain. The more engaging you can be, the better!
2. Make your pins long/tall instead of wide. Pinterest caps the width of all photos, but not the height. Make your pins tall to take up more real-estate on someone’s home feed. Just watch out for really long pins, as Pinterest just rolled out a new “expand pin” feature if the pin goes over a certain length - so make them long, just keep the really important stuff above the cut-off. An aspect ratio of 2:3 is good, 1:2 is better, and 1:3+ will really make a splash!
3. Pin during times of high traffic. Weekends (Saturday morning and Sunday evening) are typically good times to pin, as well as the late night, “I can’t sleep so I’m wasting time on Pinterest” hours of 8PM-1AM on week days.
4. Pin things that are RED. This is sort of a strange tip, but pins that are predominantly RED tend to get repinned very often. Whether it’s because red is the color of Pinterest’s logo, or because red is an intense, eye grabbing color - your guess is as good as ours.
5. Pin little and often. Feeling like we are being “spammed” on social media is never a positive thing. Engaging with your audience is GOOD, but too much social media activity can actually be a little annoying. To avoid a potential brand overload, pin a little bit at a time, and do it often. Pinning this way means your pins aren’t concentrated in the “feed” all at once; they will show up scattered throughout as a pinner scrolls down. In a perfect world, you would pin throughout the day with 10-20 minutes in between each pin, concentrating on times of high traffic (hint: use Pingraphy!) Sometimes we just don’t have the time to pin “perfectly”, and that’s okay. But instead of sitting down for an hour and pinning like a madwoman, try to do only 5-10 pins at a time, and aim to pin a little every hour (if you have that much time!)
6. Try to pin at least 25% ORIGINAL CONTENT. Original content can be defined as something that isYOURS, rather than someone else’s. This can mean a photo you took of a chocolate chip banana muffin you made (if you’re a blog), a product available on your website (if you’re an e-commerce site), or anythingelse that you can really call “yours” - as in, YOU made it. Of course, you still want to pin stuff from the other guys too, because Pinterest is basically a giant inspirational mood-board, and you could never, everdream to pin 100% original content, because that would be incredibly difficult. 25% means 1 of every 4 pins is your own, so try your best to keep up with it.
7. Speaking of original content, try to design or curate your own pins (whenever you have the time) to create more original content. Pinterest users typically respond very well to “designed” original content, namely lists and infographics. If you’re a fashion company, pull together your top 5 pieces for summer in one graphic. If you’re a blogger, maybe it’s the top ten places NOT to wear your engagement ring, or the 5 must see movies starring Audrey Hepburn - people like lists, and they especially like to repin them!
Designed lists and Infographics are popular on Pinterest because they convey information in a visual way. Make them easy to understand, and make them pretty! No idea how to use Photoshop? No problem. Sites like Piktochart (www.piktochart.com/) help you create infographics without the need of design skills.
8. And finally, ENGAGE with your audience whenever you can. Whether this means pinning regularly, liking pins, repinning other people’s pins, commenting on pins, following other brands/websites you like, or responding back to people who ask a question via Pinterest, just get involved! Pinterest may be a massive mood-board full of deliciously inspiring eye candy, but it is also a social network. Keyword being SOCIAL. Get engaged - it will only help grow your following THAT much faster.