January 5, 2022

Pinterest: the Unsung Hero of the Social Media Lineup

Pinterest: the unsung hero of the social media platform lineup. Even as citizens of the digital world are flocking away from platforms like Facebook and Instagram - avoiding privacy concerns, invasive advertising, and content that causes them anxiety - Pinterest continues to grow.

In 2020 alone, Pinterest grew by 100 million new users, and many consider Pinterest to be an online “happy place.” (Including McLernon & Co. team member Jessie, who wrote about Pinterest in the May 2021 issue of the Keep Social Media Social™️ Magazine!)

80% of Pinterest users go to the platform when feeling positive; unlike platforms like Facebook and Twitter that seem to thrive on incendiary and controversial content. This, paired with the fact that Pins rarely generate in-depth conversations, allows users to feel like they have more control over their experiences on the platform, and helps Pinners to dream about and plan for whatever beautiful future they envision for themselves.

Why might you want to consider a Pinterest strategy?

Digital citizens spend twice as much time on Pinterest as they do on other social media platforms. But Pinterest is a space where brands can make connections that are not only high quantity, but also high quality.

Pinners use Pinterest actively. While people may mindlessly scroll on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, they go to Pinterest to actively plan, shop, learn, and organize. In fact, 89% of Pinterest users visit Pinterest with intent to purchase. Pinners are open to discovering new brands, products, services, and inspiration that meets their needs…and converting when they find it.

What types of content perform well on Pinterest?

Although Pinterest is generally considered a social media platform, it functions more like a search engine. This means that your Pinterest content needs to be optimized to show up in searches, and enticing enough in the feed for Pinners to engage with your content once they see it.

Like other social media platforms, video is having a *moment* on Pinterest. But don’t let that stop you from posting beautiful graphics and photos too! The most important thing is publishing beautiful, visually engaging content that encourages people to click, Pin, and engage with your content.

How can I optimize my Pins’ performance?

Approach publishing Pins like you might approach merchandising in a retail store. Everything should enhance the product, service, or brand you are promoting by drawing visual interest. By making your Pins as visually appealing as possible, Pinners are more likely to click, read, and engage.

That said, Pinterest is about more than just aesthetic. The strongest Pins offer value, including how-to content, links to informative blog posts or web pages, recipes or DIY instructions, tips and tricks, or inspiration.

A few best practices to keep in mind when creating your visual content include:

  • Vertical images (or video) perform best 
  • Use an aspect ratio of 2:3 (for example, 1000 x 1500 pixels)
  • Where relevant, humanize the subject of your Pin. For example, a Pin about a bar of soap will perform better if there is an image of a person using it, rather than simply an image of the bar sitting on a bathroom counter. Since Pinterest is all about marketing an experience, adding a human element helps Pinners visualize the experience your product, brand, or service can provide.
  • Include your logo on branded Pins, but keep it subtle so it doesn’t dominate the content of the Pin itself.
  • Incorporate additional branding elements using your brand fonts and colors with any text you have on the Pin.
  • 85% of Pinterest users engage with the platform on mobile, so ensure that your content will look ok on mobile. If you have text overlaid on your Pin, is it large enough to read? Are there branding or logos on your Pin that may show up too small to see on mobile?

Once you’ve finalized the visual of the Pin, it’s time to publish!

The Pin title is the large text that accompanies the Pin.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your Pin title:

  • Only the first 30 characters of the title show up while the Pin is in the feed (in other words, viewers won’t see the full title until they click on the Pin). You can entice clicks by starting the Pin title with a hook, such as, “10 reasons to…,” “how to make…,” or “why [product] should…” For example, a Pin with the title “Why Coffee Soap Should Be a Part of Your Skincare Routine” has an abbreviated title of “Why Coffee Soap Should Be a Pa…” while in the feed. This may make Pinners wonder what exactly coffee soap is and what is “should” be a part of, and encourage them to open the Pin for more information.
  • Don’t be afraid to be a little click-baity! Full Pin titles like  “10 reasons to listen to the Completely Arbortrary Podcast,” or “How to Reupholster Your Dining Chairs,” are totally ok on Pinterest, as long as you’re actually providing the content you’re promoting.
  • Include keywords and phrases in the title, such as “soap” and “skincare routine.”

Next comes the Pin description.

You have 500 characters to work with, but an ideal description is 2-4 concise sentences that include a few keywords and phrases, while still being informative and easy to digest. For example, if you’re publishing a Pin about a new flavor of soap in your online store, your description might read:

“Manos Soap’s Coffee Bean Soap Bar features coffee seed oil, which can help restore skin and contribute to a healthier, smoother look and feel. Coffee grounds work as an exfoliating agent to help remove dirt and dead cells from the skin. Coffee soap may also help decrease the appearance of sun spots, redness, and fine lines. Our natural coffee soap bar will be the perfect addition to your complete skincare routine!”

This description includes the brand name, information about the product and the value it can provide, and keywords and phrases like “soap bar,” “coffee seed oil,” and “exfoliating agent” that will help the Pin show up in relevant searches.

Remember, a great Pin promotes not a product or service, but an experience.

Paid Advertising on Pinterest

Where advertising can feel invasive on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest provides a platform where paid advertising can be as interesting and valuable to the consumer as organic content.

Generally speaking, running paid advertising on Pinterest is most effectively implemented to increase impressions and brand awareness, rather than direct conversions, to nationwide audiences over an extended period of time. However, ad campaigns can also be set up to include shoppable Pins and drive website traffic.

Pinterest for Business offers a variety of resources for brands considering advertising about Pinterest.

Want to bring Pinterest into your 2022 social media strategy but not sure how? Book an intensive strategy session to get started!

Alternatively, if you'd like to hand off your organic Pinterest implementation and/or paid advertising campaign setup and management to an experienced social media team, schedule a discovery call to connect.