61 Tips to Maximize Your Reach on Pinterest
With visual-based social networks on the rise, understanding and implementing a successful strategy for their use is paramount to successful social media marketing. I scoured the web and curated a list of the top 61 tips to help brands maximize their reach on Pinterest. I also organized them into 5 different categories to make it easier to get to a section of interest. So without further delay, here are the top 61 tips to maximize your reach on Pinterest.
- Don’t forget about SEO
- Use Captions
- Use Hashtags
- Optimize Pinterest for SEO
Even though Pinterest is a visually dominated platform, text still matters. To find success with Pinterest use keywords anywhere you can. This includes pin descriptions, board names, account names and account descriptions. Doing this makes your pins, boards and accounts more visible in Pinterest and Google searches. source
Always use a caption, but keep the copy short and sweet. Aim for 100 – 200 characters, plus a shortened owly or bitly link to track. source
To increase discovery, add a relevant hashtag or two to each caption. Hashtags are a great way to increase the likelihood your pins will be found in Pinterest’s internal search results. source
Content and SEO go hand in hand regardless of the platform. Pinterest is no exception. HubSpot outlines 10 fantastic tips for optimizing a business’s Pinterest presence for search that include:
- Choose an optimized company username
- Optimize the “About” section
- Include links back to your website
- Differentiate your inboards
- Speak your customers’ language
- Use your pins’ descriptions wisely
- Make sure the images you pin have descriptive file names and alt text
- Incorporate hashtags
- Leverage the long tail
- “Pinjack” relevant search terms and images
Do what it takes to ensure that your pins are findable, and include a reference link back to your website to drive traffic. source
Pinterest boards are more discoverable via search when the board name contains keywords. Of the boards found in Pinterest’s search results for “Pinterest for business”, the ones that appear on the top of the list have the keywords directly in the board name. Make your boards more findable. Optimize your boards for Pinterest search and you’ll get higher placement in results. source
You have up to 200 characters to describe your business in the About section.Melissa Megginson suggests using them carefully. When in doubt about keywords or phrases to use, she says, “Check out your Google Analytics to see what drives people to your site… Make sure to keep it easy to read and not overly ‘keyword-y’.”
Organik SEO uses the following description of their business on their website: “Organik SEO is an online marketing company in San Diego specializing in local search SEO and social media marketing. We increase a business’ online exposure.” On Pinterest, their description reads, “Organik SEO is a green friendly online marketing company specializing in social media and SEO.” When restricted by the number of characters, their focus drills down to the keywords SEO, social media and online. Add a clear and relevant business description to take advantage of SEO on Pinterest source
Want to add more information to a pin? Pinterest has five types of rich pins that let you add topic-specific details to a pin.
- Article pins include the headline, author, story description and link
- Product pins include real-time pricing, availability and where to buy
- Recipe pins include ingredients, cooking times and serving info
- Movie pins include ratings, cast members and reviews
- Place pins include an address, phone number and map
Don’t let Pinterest’s casual style keep you from engaging with commenters.
Target is a good example of a business that gets right in there to greet each person by name and offer timely responses. Users take notice when businesses engage in conversations.
Make sure your social media community managers respond to the comments and questions users post on pins. source
Looking for ways to collaborate with clients and prospects on Pinterest?
One way is to create a group board and invite users to pin to your board. While others can contribute to the board, as the creator, you will be the only person able to change the board’s title and description. You can also remove pinners and any inappropriate pins from the board. To learn more, take a look at Pinterest’s Top Group Boards with 1000 boards to choose from or browse Board Deck’s directory of Pinterest community boards. source
Who’s seeing, commenting and sharing your pins? Can that information help you to engage with individuals and businesses that may not have been an intended target in your Pinterest strategy?
For example, this pin from Toms’ Eyewear Giving pinboard was pinned to a number of users’ pinboards with names such as Giving, Giving Back, A Cause Worth Pursuing, One for One, Inspirational.
When your followers repin, read the comments the repin generates to help you find other like-minded users and possibly some good brand ambassadors. source
To build your Pinterest audience, promote on your other social properties to tap into your existing networks at least once a week. Include a link in your e-mail signature, and share your favorite pins and boards on your personal accounts as well. source
Many businesses share content on Pinterest that they don’t share elsewhere. Find out if businesses whose blogs you follow are on Pinterest by searching for them either with Pinterest search or by doing a Google search (e.g., HubSpot on Pinterest). Connect with your trusted content providers on Pinterest to see what else they have to offer. source
Every platform has influencers who stand out within their industry. Relationships with those influencers can benefit your business. Nyerr Parham offers advice about using Pinterest to locate online influencers who already have the attention of your target audience. She writes, “Start by following them and repinning the content you like. Go ahead and like their pins and make thoughtful comments. This can be a good first step in relationship-building.”
Pinning the same image from your site to multiple boards back to back. While this is a good strategy to maximize the exposure of your image, leave some time between pins to avoid clogging people’s feeds and to catch pinners at different times. source
It will be two years since I’ve been using Pinterest at The Educators’ Spin On It. Take a look at your boards and see which ones you’d like to focus on now as we kick off 2014. Keep in mind that at times they don’t all necessarily grow the same. An easy way to find those older pins is to either use the Search My Pins feature on Pinterest. Another way is to reduce the size of your view so that you can see many pins at one time. It’s actually fun to see the trends as you were pinning them last season. Stop and take a look at what was successful. Ask yourself is the pin current still? source
Take the time to click through pins when repining. As Pinterest has grown in popularity so has the appeal to spammers to try to take advantage of its users. Serve your Pinterest followers well, when repining take a couple of seconds to click through and make sure that the image links back to the original source and not to a spam site. source
Choose board cover images that represent the pins on your boards. This can be done on the iPhone and web versions of Pinterest. Organize your boards with the most important board to your business first to draw the most attention to it. At the time of this post boards can only be rearranged on the web version of Pinterest, not on mobile apps. source
DO NOT use link shorteners for your Pins such as bit.ly links or other types redirects. These will be flagged as suspicious links by Pinterest and could cost you traffic and conversions. source
You’re building your Pinterest account to serve your followers not just for you. Pinterest does have etiquette standards. Avoid these pitfalls:
- Only pinning your blog posts
- Only pinning your products
- Creating boards only because they’re a popular Pinterest topic. Example: a healthcare company creating a wedding dress board.
Ensure the first two rows of boards on your Pinterest page are saturated with content that will draw page viewers’ attention. The best board position is the middle of the first row, so it should be used for promotional boards featuring your products and services. Note: when you create a new board, it gets placed in the bottom row. This is because Pinterest’s default is to arrange boards chronologically. Be sure to pull fresh boards to the top if you want to increase viewership. source
Don’t “pin dump” on your followers’ feeds – pin twice daily instead of once to ensure your content is “dripped” throughout their home feeds. Morning (10-11a.m.) and late evening (9p.m.-midnight) are the best timeframes for the majority of brands to pin during. source
Create secret boards – one for curated inspiration, one for original content uploads, and one for the functional use of holding trending pins to spread out later in the day. This will greatly reduce the time you have to spend on Pinterest. source
Take a peek at your current Pinterest Boards, do they reflect where you are right now with your website? Can a viewer easily find the evergreen content you’ve created for the current season? As an active Pinner who’s accumulated over a million followers on Pinterest, I am focused on building Pinterest Boards that reflect my “voice” and work to build my “authorship” online, I consider it my job to make pinning easy for my followers. Keep current information pinned at the top of my boards for quick reference. source
If you have a pin that has tons of repins I would suggest you leave it alone, it’s working don’t touch it. However, consider another board that it might apply to this season and repin it there. If you have a pin with very few repins, consider repining that pin and deleting the old one. (Don’t forget to delete the older pin, no one wants to follow boards that have duplicate pins on it.) I know it’s hard at first to hit that delete button but trust me on this, no one is seeing it if it’s not in their current Pinterest thread of followers they see, even then they don’t see everything from people they are following. source
Sometimes you might have a pin that will work for multiple Pinterest boards. Did you pin it just once of did you pin it to a separate board? Go ahead a pin to it the other board but spread out those repins over time. Typically new followers will not follow a pinner whose new pins are a stream of the same pin on different boards all pinned in one pinning session. Many active Pinners like to create a spreadsheet to keep track of where their pins are going each month. You could create a time each day you share that pin you’re trying to promote but be sure that you are pinning current NEW pins in between that to build up your authority in that specific topic you’re pinning about. source
Successful Pinners with high repins and high number of followers are typically not only pinning their own content but pinning other people’s content. Take a look at your boards and see if they reflect at least an 80/20 ratio of original pins from around the web to your own site. source
Lastly if it’s a new season or topic and you’re starting up a new Pinterest Board, let your readers know on all your social media outlets. Give them a call to action to follow along. If you’re teaming up with someone to create a Collaborative Board let your readers know too or they will probably miss it unless they specifically click on Follow. The bottom line is to continue to pin content that you know your followers will be searching for as each season approaches in 2014. Don’t forget to take a peek at your own website from seasons past and see if your images are Pinterest Ready! source
Maloney says business owners need to think of their Pinterest efforts as a long-term investment. “There’s a lot of hype around social media, and people think they are going to post pins, and overnight there will be tons of profits coming in,” says Maloney. “It doesn’t work that way! It takes time to build up your presence.” The good thing is that he says pins have a longer shelf-life than tweets, for instance. “The average pin lives for multiple weeks or months,” says Maloney, meaning that users will still be able to easily find content you posted on Pinterest in the past. source
Because pins have a longer shelf-life, Maloney stresses the importance of creating a strong brand identity on the platform by only pinning content that makes sense for your company. “What you pin today should be relevant six months from now,” says Maloney. The takeaway? Don’t pin 1,000 pieces of content per day, and only pin content that is of interest to your key demographic. source
According to Maloney, many businesses feel (incorrectly) that they need to be pinning content they’ve created themselves. “Pinterest is about curating, not just creating. You don’t have to create every pin yourself; you can re-pin others’ pins from across the web,” says Maloney. source
Last year, Pinterest added business pages to their offerings. Even though there’s no obvious difference in how the page appears to users, business pages provide helpful information via the added analytics features that personal pages don’t. Take a few minutes to convert to a Pinterest business page and learn about theanalytics and metrics you can measure; for example, number of unique users, number of repins, impressions and visits to your site and content that gets the most repins. source
It’s easy to get caught up in the casual feeling of Pinterest and lose sight of the opportunity to create boards that are reflective of your business. Constant Contact is a great example of a business that has created a number of business-specific boards. In total, they have 97 boards and of those boards, 20-30% of them relate specifically to their brand and even have the business name as part of the board name (e.g., Constant Contact Infographics, Constant Contact Guides, Life at Constant Contact, Constant Contact Offices). Similar to how you share content on other social networking platforms, strike a balance on Pinterest. Curate boards that share information of interest to your target audience and boards that are about your business. source
People want easy, digestible information. This type of information lends itself quite well to infographics. Spend a few minutes on Pinterest and you’ll quickly find that infographics are one of the images people like, as well as repin. They’re also an excellent way to drive traffic to your website. Andreea Ayers shares how an infographic she created and shared on a Pinterest board received 30,000 repins.
Even if your business doesn’t create any infographics of its own, share the ones you like and think are beneficial to your clients. source
When it comes to pinning, boards that get less of your attention are followed less. Take advantage of all of the real estate you have on Pinterest and share the wealth of your successful boards! Repin from boards with fewer followers to boards that have a related theme and more followers. source
An effective way to promote an annual event is to pin notable comments from speakers to an event board. Pinterest’s scrapbook look and feel make it easy for users to scroll through a board of quotes from last year’s speakers. The event board, in turn, serves as an adjunct to your marketing efforts for this year’s event.
Pinboard traffic is affected by seasons and holidays. Jennifer Evans Cario writes, “The great thing about seasonal boards is they can be revamped and reused each year with no need to delete them. These boards can be relocated to the bottom of your profile page while you quietly add content to them as you run across it.”
Apartment Therapy has a Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas Exchange board that they’re currently showcasing on the top of their Pinterest profile. As you move through their profile, you can see other seasonal boards for Thanksgiving Decorating, Christmas Decorating and The January Cure.
As you plan new Pinterest boards, think about the seasonal impact on your sales and marketing cycle and plan your board display accordingly. source
Pinterest can help you communicate what matters to your company. Victoria Lennon offers tips about ways that B2Bs can use Pinterest. “If you’re running CSR initiatives, then create a compelling board that shows the work you are doing, reflecting the wider issues. Many companies develop values, which then sit on a website or intranet.”
The key here is to use the board to reflect the issues and values important to your business and remain visually interesting for your followers. source
To be pinnable, images should be at least 100 x 200 pixels and in png, jpg or gif formats. As with other things in life doing the bare minimum won’t get you far. To really stand out on Pinterest bigger is better. Though all pins get scaled to 238 pixels wide on the Pinterest feed, when a pin is clicked on, it shows up actual size, up to 735 pixels wide. Businesses with product should take advantage of this large size to show the details of the products they have for sale. source
Using a tool like Photoshop, add a text overlay with wording like “How To ___,” “Top 10 ___,” “5 ___Tips,” to draw users’ attention and persuade them to click through to your website to learn more. source
Want to stand out from the competition? One of the greatest, and perhaps most underutilized, features for creating a business presence on Pinterest is posting different types of content—video from YouTube, slideshows from SlideShare and audio from SoundCloud.
Pinterest is a wonderful way to collect your marketing messages all in one place:
- Share an audio pinboard with your clients and prospects (e.g.,https://soundcloud.com/entrepreneuronfire).
- Or, send them the link to a particular podcast pin (e.g.,http://www.pinterest.com/pin/222857881534637391/).
- Take them directly to a slideshow (e.g.,http://www.pinterest.com/pin/15621929930219062/).
- Share the link to a video from one of your events (e.g.,http://www.pinterest.com/pin/281756520408477354/).
To make sure your boards and pins look as inviting as they can, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the size of your images. Caitlin Muir points out that long, skinny pins are the most clicked-on image sizes. “They drive traffic because they require you to click on them so you can see the full size [to read them].” Check out the Pinterest Cheat Sheet to Image Sizes to help make the most of yourimages. source
Inspiration on Pinterest comes in many forms with pins that share quotes, art, movies, books—you name it. When Pinterest introduced place pins, they described the new feature as a way to “help people turn their travel inspiration into reality” with maps, addresses and phone numbers. Simply put, pin images that will help inspire and dazzle your followers. source
Steven Van Belleghem makes a compelling case for all companies to use Pinterest: “…it forces you to think visually and it helps you build a strong visual archive on a trendy site. A must for all companies across all sectors.”
Certain industries may be more image-friendly than others, but you probably have more images at your disposal for Pinterest boards than you think. Similar to a content inventory, take note of all of your brand’s image assets (i.e., graphics from white papers, web pages, charts, photos taken of your staff, corporate events).
Want to tell your brand’s story through images? Volkswagen USA is a good example of a business that has created a visual archive. Their board, VW Through the Years, uses old photos of their cars to visually demonstrate brand history. source
Want to make sure your website images are found when users are searching the web for pins? Jason Stanley suggests naming your images with keywords and hyphens (versus underscores) so search engines are sure to recognize the image name.
For example, use a name such as “custom-home-builder-stacked-stone-entryway.png” instead of the default camera name such as DSC_0166.jpg. source
Cropping is important – most websites have horizontal images, but you need vertical images to claim more real estate on Pinterest. Two to three times more people will click through on vertical images as opposed to horizontal images, according to BlogHer. A 2:3 aspect ratio works best. Super skinny, tall images like infographics and long recipe lists can be a hassle to scroll through, so adopt the “teaser” method by cropping the best portion of those images and linking back to the source of the expanded image. source
Use warm colors. According to BlogHer, reddish-orange images get 2x the repins as blueish images. Also, keep images bright. Photos with medium lightness are repinned 20x more than dark ones. source
GIFs have traditionally displayed as static images on Pinterest but they finally showed up in all their fully-animated glory this month. GIFs that were already pinned will now be animated, as well as any new ones you add. The new feature has been rolling out across Pinterest profiles on the web, with mobile to come later.
Image cheat sheets come in handy when you’re rebranding your social media profiles or setting one up from scratch. This cheat sheet for Pinterest makes it easy to create images for your profile and pins of just the right size. source
Whether it’s a photo, video, or e-book, a powerful way to direct new visitors to your website is to have Pinterest-friendly, hyperlinked content leading viewers from
Pinterest to your website, opt-in page, e-book download, e-commerce shop, etc. source
Speaking of mobile devices, what kind of social share buttons do you have on your site? Floating social share bars became very popular in 2013 but many of them aren’t visible on mobile devices. There have been many times that I’ve wanted to pin something I found while using my phone but haven’t been able to. Make it EASY for visitors to your site to pin, tweet and post no matter what type of device they use. source
Still trying to decide whether you can manage another platform? Facebook and Twitter are working well? Pinterest is a visual platform that offers a user experience the other platforms don’t. Combined with your other efforts, Pinterest could provide the content balance you’re looking for.
To get started on Pinterest, Jim Yu advises businesses to add relevant boards; short-list a handful of themes and kickstart boards aligned with some or all of them; pin images that are visually attractive and aligned with the board theme; and don’t aim to sell, aim to inspire your users.
If you pin a lot of products to your Pinterest boards, this app could come in handy. It lets you scan the barcode of a real-life product and quickly add it to your Pinterest account. It’s a great way of making wishlists, remembering things you want to buy later, and sharing cool products you find. source
I’m a big fan of Google’s image search feature so I was really excited to find this Chrome extension. Pin Search adds a search button to each pin you view on Pinterest (it appears when you hover) that lets you perform a Google image search based on that picture. source
If you’re a fan of using our Buffer extensions to share images from your right-click menu, you’ll love PinImage for Pinterest. It adds a “share to Pinterest” option in your right-click menu for Firefox users. source
If you like sharing screenshots of websites on Pinterest (good for design-related boards), Page2Images makes it really easy. Just click the button and it’ll create a pin from the current website you’re viewing. source
When you’re browsing other people’s Pinterest boards, it can get tiring to click each image to open up a bigger preview of it. The Pinterest Image Expander extension for Chrome opens up images when you hover over them so that you don’t have to click each time. source
Pinstamatic is a fun tool to help you share pins made from quotes, text, Twitter profiles, places and even Spotify links. If you want to add different kinds of content to your Pinterest boards, this is a one-stop shop to get you going. Source
Is Pinterest right for your business? There’s no doubt that Pinterest has made an impressive entrance into an already crowded list of social networking platforms. Before you jump in, you need to know that Pinterest can help you meet your goals. Take a look at statistics and reports to help justify your business’s presence and glean insights about areas that you can tap into. source
Whether you’re using Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer, add the Pin It button to your browser and make pinning a seamless process. But just because the button is there doesn’t mean you have to use it all the time.
Donna Moritz advises, “Don’t do a pin dump! Pinterest is unlike Facebook and Twitter where the feed-time is limited. Pins will remain in view for days or weeks due to the cyclical nature of their exposure. Pinning for a few minutes a couple of times per day is enough to get you started.” source