Here we go again! Last time we visited Instagram, and explained all the ways you can use this image hosting service to boost your social media power, but they’re not the only image sharing site that can do this. Enter Pinterest. This player in the social media world popped on the radar in March of 2010, and caused a fair bit of confusion at first. Image sharing and idea swapping hadn’t totally caught on yet, but once it did…
Pinterest and Pins
Pinterest today is host to so many different kinds of media that it’s difficult to categorize all of it, but the main focus of their site seems to be recipe ideas, DIY ideas of all varieties, arts and crafts with instructions, photos of places to visit, infographics and posters. These are called “Pins” and Pins are posts made on their site. When you grab it and put it on one of your own boards, you are “pinning” it. It is very easy to lose a lot of time on Pinterest because of the sheer amount of things to share and Pin on boards.
Pinterest provides a way to save different Pins to different areas based on a subject you choose. These are called “Boards” and say for instance, you are saving photos of our lovely South Africa for an upcoming trip – you might save these photos to a board titled “Dream Holiday” or “Travel Photo Inspiration”. Then you can keep pinning these types of photos to that board. If you’re really into cooking, you can create a board for your recipes, and save all your favorites or must try recipes there. Other people will see those posts and will, in turn, save them to their own boards, and share them. This process happens quickly, and Pinterest is very good at letting ordinary people be seen. My personal Pinterest boards have been shared 4,000 times since I started one, and who am I really? This just proves how easy it is to get seen by real people all over the world using Pinterest.
Pinterest also conveniently allows you to search through Pins, which is a massive time saver for social media managers, because sifting through pages and pages of irrelevant Pins wastes a lot of time. It is entertaining sure, but hard to get work done when being constantly distracted by, “Oooh look! A lemon tart recipe!”. This means that if you’re looking for a relevant article or poster about how to save time in the kitchen, you will retrieve only those Pins that are relevant to that search.
TIP: Keep your searches simple however, use few words and very direct words for the best results. If you use too many words you’ll confuse poor Pinterest’s internal search engine and you’ll get less back or nothing at all.
The great part about looking up other people’s Pins like this is that these have been shared already and it usually means the quality is good enough to pass around. Just in case though, do double check because people share articles without reading them after deciding the title is good enough.
Creating Pins – What to Know
Most people on Pinterest are sharing other people’s Pins, but the whole point of it is to upload your own original stuff, and if you want to do this – great! Branding that is purely yours, or photos of your industry and business, infographics for your product or service, anything goes here. You’ll need to keep your image sizes to 735 x 1103 px. If you use 800 x 1200 it will resize to an optimal size, and it’s close enough that it doesn’t distort it enough to matter. You’ll see people giving you hearts, which is Pinterest’s way of giving “Likes” like Facebook. These hearts show up over a long period of time, and just when you think that nobody is seeing your Pin, because nothing has happened for a while, someone will come along and throw you a heart out of nowhere. Pinning your own stuff is great for organic growth and getting noticed.
If you have a physical product, this one is simple. Think Instagram style photos – high in sophistication and class, and low on words, clutter and cheap looking elements. You want to display your product in its best light. If you’re going to be hosting a webinar, or a tutorial video series that features how to use your product or service, this is the place to host an image about it. You can provide a link to your landing page as the source for the photo. Job done.