I started using Pinterest towards the end of their Beta testing. At first I wasn’t what us industry folks would call a “super user” but I liked the platform quite a bit, mostly because it served as a bookmarking tool for me rather than the inspirational sharing site that it was meant to be. Pinterest has grown considerably since it’s start in 2010 and rather than sharing inspiration, individuals and companies have started using it for marketing their services, their content and their products. A great marketing tool indeed if done right!
Boards are made surrounding holidays, shopping guides and tutorials. You name it, you can probably promote it on Pinterest and that can be good for business. Unfortunately for some brands, right now you can only share videos and pictures from content on Pinterest and if you’re not very savvy, you could be missing out on business because I, and others like me, won’t share it.
Here’s what’s keeping you from raking in the pins, pageviews, and re-pins of your content.
Image really is everything
The biggest reason that I don’t promote is because your content is lacking a picture. Pinterest needs an image of some kind to pull from. If I have to use the ads in your sidebar to pin your content because those are the only images on the page, odds are I’ll just skip Pinterest and either share in another platform that isn’t image centric. Sometimes though, I skip altogether because sharing and pinning should be that.easy. You can create amazing pinnable pictures through photoshop, paint, or free sites like picmonkey. Once you have the perfect picture, take the time to fill out the boxes in the image editor (this is for WordPress users only). I created a tutorial on how to add a Pinterest friendly image to your post. Go. Learn. Come back and be awesome with pictures.
Forget how you dress, but take a look at how your site is dressed: Do you have social sharing buttons or widgets designed to share on Pinterest? If not, it could mean that someone is going to skip over pinning your great recipe, new product, or uber helpful tutorial. While many people have the “pin it” button already in their bookmark bar at the top of their browser, the simplistic idea behind a button right in your post is often the prompt they need to share. Calls to action are important and social sharing buttons are the easiest forms of calls to action. The good news is that there are tons of social sharing plugins available for blogs and websites. Google “social sharing plugins” and get yourself hooked up with some!
Personally, I only like sharing things that are awesome. I don’t willy-nilly re-pin things just because someone else pinned it first. I want to share what I like, what moves me, what inspires or educates me in some way. I try (most of the time anyway) to deliver the same to my readers. So if your content is just meh, then don’t expect me to push it out to my followers. Content rules. Always has and always will. So work on creating something worth sharing to begin with. If I really love what you have to say and I don’t have a pin board to put it in, I’ll make one! Content always has been and always will be, THAT IMPORTANT.
Describe it to me
This is where people lose so many opportunities to have their content pinned on Pinterest; they miss the description. When you’re uploading the picture (or pictures) make sure they contain a description. (Again, you do this in image editing). Your description could be the title of your post, or a short one line telling what the post is about. What you don’t want, is to use whatever default name or series of numbers and letters that your image was saved as. Give us an idea of what the post or even the image is about.
Andrea Stone Meglii, owner of Sipoa on Main in Clover, SC said that anything without some kind of a description is not something that she will re-pin. “I hate it when people delete the important stuff and add their own comments like “This would be great for Bubba Joe!” she tells me. Andrea’s not the only one who feels this way.
Erica Mueller of Erica Says said that a description is great but it shouldn’t have all of the information in it; putting in the entire tutorial may be construed as stealing traffic from the site where the pin originated from. “Pinterest is for bookmarking, not posting full recipes/tutorials. As a content creator I would be very upset if someone put the full info on the Pin itself. Secondly, I don’t like to pin images that don’t have a title or something on them to remind me of why I pinned it,” Mueller adds. Erica has a tutorial on creating pinnable images so you know you’re creating an image that’s easy to pin. She also has an excellent video tutorial on adding the PinIt Button (like you see on this post) so you’re never without a social share button on your site.
And if that doesn’t do it, be sure to read my How-to create pinnable images to walk you through the steps.
Sketchy direct marketing
Does that mean other people can’t pin it? I’ll be honest, I’m not sure but you as the creator, shouldn’t be doing it. Instead of direct marketing, go the extra mile to create that fantastic content about what you want to promote such as blog post about best practices for using Pinterest if you’re offering a class on using Pinterest (and don’t forget the link to your opt-in or sales page to sign up for the class.)
It’s better to get me psyched about the topic and then try to sell it to me, rather than selling to me outright. Indirect marketing in the form of custom content is a great sales tool that you can definitely pin.
Do you love Pinterest as much as I do? Be sure to leave a comment telling me what keeps you from pinning other people’s content.