As a visual content marketing expert these are some of the most frequently asked questions I hear:
- “How do I get more repins?”
- “How do I know my pins will go viral?”
- “I have great images but get so few followers, why is that?”
- “Why aren’t they repinning my images?”
Here is an analogy using fashion to help us figure it out.
Let’s say it’s a new season and you’re ready to add some pieces to your existing wardrobe. So you get yourself to the mall and you go on a shopping frenzy.
You thought hey I did great! I had fun and I love the stuff I bought. So you get home and even though you’re pooped from all that shopping you can’t wait to see all the pieces again.
As you pull out the clothing items from your shopping bags, you spread them on your bed and start to mix and match the new stuff with the stuff in your closet putting together ensembles.
You’re suddenly saddened and shocked to realize that most of the items you bought don’t actually match anything you already have… nothing goes with anything.
Your heart starts beating quickly because you realized that you bought all this stuff on final sale!
Now you’re completely bummed out because you spent all that time shopping and you thought by being spontaneous that you could pull this off. Not only did you max out your credit cards but now you can’t do anything with these pieces.
That story is similar to what many beginners on Pinterest do. They invest a lot of time gathering their images & then they pin their hearts out. Things don’t match, there are often no themes, the pin and board descriptions are afterthoughts, there is no obvious value being shouted to visitors, no calls to action to pin, there is no optimization. Bottom line; there is no plan, no coordinated strategic effort, just a bunch of pins posted on multiple boards.
Like the shopping trip that is not carefully planned out to match your closet, setting up Pinterest without a clear picture of how all the pieces fit together often ends in disappointment too.
We live in world obsessed with instant results. However, we also know that amazing things don’t usually happen overnight.
The problem I see businesses make with Pinterest is that they don’t have a plan. Without having a strategy to support; their business goals and to harness all the elements of Pinterest together properly they use the hope approach and soon thereafter I hear those same four questions above over and over.
This “hope it all comes together in the end” mindset will not get you anywhere on Pinterest. (Or shopping)
You need to start with a plan, a proven step-by-step approach that will get you, your blog or business the attention you deserve.
If you’ve been going around in circles following every blog or article and then trying to figure out what to do first, second and third on Pinterest I will tell you right now that as much as I will give you an “A” for effort; Pinterest marketing is something you can’t just make up on the fly.
Pinterest is like shopping…you need a vision of the end result before you spend all that time and money in order to be successful. There is a system you need to follow. Plus…you have to have realistic expectations, there are rules you need to follow on Pinterest and you can’t rush it!
What I mean by that is you can’t go on a pinning frenzy because you’re clogging up user’s Pinterest smart feed which is very annoying. If you don’t even know what that means then right there is a sign that maybe you need to take a step back and really learn how to use Pinterest. Maybe you are trying to run your account without having the basic knowledge about how Pinterest actually works. It is a lot more involved than people first think.
If you’re thinking you’re going to get a ton of followers because of your pinning frenzy that will backfire on you resulting in actually losing followers which is the exact opposite of what you want. There is no room for a hope and pray approach on Pinterest.
Did you know that the mobile audience on Pinterest has grown to 80%?
What that means to you is that your images have to be mobile friendly or you restrict your likelihood or getting repins or going viral. Do you know how Pinterest displays differently on an IPhone vs. an Android phone? There is a lot to know, you can’t wing it.
According to a latest research the colors red, pink, and purple seem to promote repinning, while green, blue, black, and yellow seem to suppress it.
With that in mind here are 20 additional ways images go viral on Pinterest:
- Make sure your images are a minimum of 600 x 900 pixels with 1900 pixels maximum in length. Use a 2:3 aspect ratio.
- Create images that are beautiful, interesting, and actionable.
- Edit pin descriptions using keywords that could show up in Pinterest’s search engine or the Guided Search tool.
- Combining a call-to-action on a pin description brings an 80% increase in engagement.
- Use the words; look, want, need and love.
- Pins with a price get 36% more likes than those without price.
- Do not use bitly. Pinterest thinks you might be spamming.
- Tutorials, guides, DIY & recipe pins see a 42% higher click through rate.
- Pins related to trending topics see an average of 94% increase in click throughs.
- Rich Pins drove 20% more engagement per Pin than those without the rich product information.
- Include file names on your images that contain targeted keywords. You want to win in Google’s search through Pinterest, but Google image search is also a massive opportunity. To win there; make sure your images are named with relevant keywords. You will get much better search performance with “wedding-hair-ideas.jpg” than you will with “DSC001234.jpg.”
- Images with multiple colors get repinned 3.25 times more than the ones with a single dominant color.
- Medium lightness is repinned 20x more than very dark images. Don’t post images that are too light or too dark, stay natural.
- 50% color saturation receives a whopping 10 times more repins than images totally de-saturated.
- Red beats blue. The winning combination is red, orange and brown as these images are receiving 2 times the number of repins as the blue ones.
- Images with less than 10% background get 2-4x repins than images more than 40% of white space.
- Images without faces sport almost 25% more repins. Only 20% of images on Pinterest feature a face.
- Images with a smooth texture are repinned 17x more than images with a rough texture.
- Pin descriptions are limited on Android so place your vital information in the first 125 characters.
- Product images that have an authentic setting meaning “lifestyle images” versus a white background drive 159% more likes and repins.
While these tips will get your pins more virality don’t forget that in order to be successful on Pinterest you need to have a plan. Winging it just isn’t going to cut it.