What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is the fastest growing social sharing site on the internet. Its active membership grew 111% in 2014, more than Facebook, Google+,Pinterest drove 10 percent of all referral traffic in the first half of 2014.YouTube, and Twitter combined. Businesses love Pinterest because it’s a great way to circulate content and attract users to their sites.
Pinterest allows users to save interesting web links using visual bookmarks, called “pins.” The pins are created from pictures on the website and are displayed in sub-pages known as “boards.” Users can create multiple boards for multiple interests, which allow them to collect dozens, sometimes hundreds, of links to interesting content from all over the web.
Using Pinterest requires more work than Facebook or Twitter. Not only do you need to create an account, you also need to install the “Pin It” button on your browser toolbar, which allows you to pin webpages. When you press it, Pinterest automatically saves the URL, asks you to select a picture from the page to “pin,” and then invites you to write a short description for it. You can also create pins by uploading pics directly to the site. Installing the Pinterest plugin directly onto your website lets people pin easily your website content to their board.
Creating Interesting Pins
Pinterest is visually oriented, so your content must be visually oriented. Here are a few tips to help people engage with your pins.
- Post Tall, Vertical Images. Scrolling vertically is easier than scrolling horizontally, which means that users share (re-pin) tall images more often than horizontal ones. The optimal height is 800 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 2:3 or 4:5.
- Post Warm, Colorful Images. People are attracted to bright colors. Red and orange pictures are re-pinned twice as often as blue pictures. Pictures that have multiple colors are re-pinned three times more often than monochromatic ones.
- Don’t Oversaturate. Pinterest users avoid the extremes of color and brightness. Highly saturated or desaturated pictures are re-pinned 10 times less often. Extremely dark and extremely light pictures are re-pinned 20 times less. Choose pictures that have a balance between light and dark, bright and cold.
- Avoid Whitespace. Pictures that have a lot of negative space – areas with no visual information – are re-pinned 2-4 times less than pictures that have multiple points of interest.
- Focus On Things, Not Faces. Pinterest users aren’t attracted to pictures of people’s faces. Images without faces are re-pinned 23 percent more often.
Since the images you post reflect your business, make sure that they relate to your business in some way. Think creatively. Even if your business doesn’t have a product that can be presented visually, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be marketed visually. Behind the scenes photos, staff pics, and infographics are all visually interesting ways to show people what you do. If you’re completely out of ideas, just post a fun picture, give it a clever twist to relate it to your services and link it back to your website. For example:
So what about content? What are Pinterest users looking for and what are they posting?
- How-to Articles. Arts, crafts, recipes, and home improvement articles are the most re-pinned articles on Pinterest, which is why companies like Lowe's and King Arthur Flour have made this their bread and butter.
- Lists. People love lists. They’re highly organized, easy to read, and their titles instantly alert users about their content, which is why companies like Birchbox and Men’s Fitness publish so many of them. Some companies will even put the title of their article in the picture they’re pinning. Combining text and image invites more clicks.
- Inspire. When people pin a webpage, they most often pin pages that they associate with positive emotions: love, home, style, and ideas. Creating positive content on your website is the best way to get people to pin it.
Whatever you do, avoid posting direct marketing content. People visit Pinterest to indulge their interests and hobbies. Obvious advertising won’t attract them. Instead, ask what your customers are interested in. What excites them? What do you offer that they can connect with on a personal level? That’s the content that will succeed on Pinterest.
Next week, we’ll be wrapping up our Social Media series with a look at Instagram.
Love Pinterest? Have anything you want to share? Leave a comment and let us know!