Be a Pinning Pro with Our Pinterest Best Practices

Since launching the platform in March of 2010, Pinterest has acquired around 70 million registered users. Top brands are now using this social network to connect with the lifestyle interests of their consumers including DIYs, recipes, fashion, and home décor. Pinterest is a great place for any kind of brand from retail to technology if used properly.

We put together some helpful Pinterest best practices and guidelines to consider as you launch and optimize your brand’s presence on the platform.


Terms

(defined by Tailwind)

  • Pin: A pin is a piece of content users have posted to Pinterest. The number under “Pins” is how many pieces of content you have pinned to your profile (this includes anything you’ve repinned to your profile).
  • Follower: A follower is a user on Pinterest who is following your whole profile or just a board or two.
  • Repin: A repin is when a user re-posts a piece of content on Pinterest by clicking the “Pin It” button.
  • Like: A like is when a user clicks the “heart” button on a pin to show they like it rather than repinning it.

Pinterest-Bar


Timing and Actions

  • Pin original pins or repin at least 3 times per day to show you’re an active user.
  • Some sources say the best times to pin are around lunchtime, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., and 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. EST. I have found that for my account, the best time is on Thursday at 1 p.m. EST. The main takeaway here is that people are most active on the platform during lulls in the workday or when the height of the commotion at home (dinner) ends. Research also shows that users are very active on Saturday mornings.
  • Follow other users and engage with their pins. This will encourage them to engage with your content. Be careful about who you follow, because the people/brands you follow are visible to the public.
  • Pin/repin things that compliment your brand and the season. For example, if I was pinning for Walmart and I saw that one of our followers pinned a Halloween DIY using products that can be bought at Walmart, I would repin that. You don’t want to pin just for the sake of pinning. Pinning irrelevant content could confuse your brand’s message and pinning too much is equivalent to spamming your followers. Be smart about it.
  • If your brand is looking to sell on Pinterest, check out Visual Ecommerce: The Facts About Selling on Pinterest.

Art

Your art is the most important part of your pin. The art of a pin is meant to generate a click through to your website.

If a user sees a delicious looking picture of a cake on Pinterest, they will expect to be able to click on the picture and be redirected to the recipe. If you don’t have a website or a blog to link to, all of your information will have to be included in the pin, like this.

Generally, you don’t want to include much copy in your pins. You can see that even with copy-heavy pins, you’ll want to keep them as visual as possible. Quotes and infographics are exceptions to the minimal copy rule. Both of these do very well on Pinterest as long as they are visually stimulating.

Pinterest-Art-Examples
Consider these art tips when choosing visuals:

  1. Try to avoid using stock photography (especially with recipes).
  2. Pins with faces in them get repinned 30% less than pins that don’t.
  3. Check out this reference for creating original pins.

Pin Descriptions

This is the copy that goes beneath your pin when you pin it. It’s a required field. It’s important to note that descriptions, in addition to your hyperlink, will help your pin with SEO.

Of course, your pin description should describe your pin. It can be up to 500 characters and should include SEO-friendly keywords. For example, if I’m pinning a cake recipe, I’ll certainly want to use the words “cake” and “recipe” in the description. I’m also going to want to write what kind of cake, maybe some of the ingredients, etc. These descriptions can be changed by anyone who repins the pin. It won’t change on your profile, but it will read whatever they want it to on theirs.

Let’s outline a possible pinning situation: buying a used car. Follow these tips on how to optimize your descriptions for search on Pinterest:

For a description about a pin containing advice for buying a used car, someone might write:
Before buying a new-to-you car, check it over carefully with this expert advice.

With only a few tweaks, we can make the description more search friendly:
Before buying a used car, check it over carefully with these expert tips.

How did I know which word to use: tips or advice? Google Trends helped me figure this out. You can use this tool to compare words to see which is more popular among people searching for content online.

GoogleTrends-PaceCo-Blog


Hashtags

We can use hashtags in pin descriptions to sneak in a few more search terms. Around 3 (max of 4) is good practice, but none are necessary.

Hashtags aren’t as popular on Pinterest as they are on other platforms like Twitter or Instagram, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad practice to use them (as long as you don’t overuse them).

Keep in mind that every word in a pin description is searchable. There are a few different ways we can optimize them for search:

Here is an example of a recipe description:
You can’t escape yellow squash this time of year—but who wants to? Enjoy it tonight in a cheesy summer squash casserole.

We can amp this up with hashtags:
You can’t escape yellow squash this time of year—but who wants to? Enjoy it tonight in a cheesy summer squash casserole. #food #recipe #dinner

Or we can add the same search value by doing this:
You can’t escape yellow squash during this time of year—but who wants to? Enjoy this food for dinner in this cheesy summer squash casserole recipe.

Or we can do a mixture of both:
You can’t escape yellow squash this time of year—but who wants to? Enjoy it for dinner in this cheesy summer squash casserole recipe. #food 

Pinterest-Hashtag-Example
Having trouble thinking of a hashtag to use? Do a personal brainstorm and try to think of what you would type to find the piece of content you’re trying to describe. You can also use Google Trends to help you.

A couple of things to note about hashtags:

  1. Capital letters don’t matter. However, you may see capitals used simply to help separate the words for easy reading: #4thOfJuly = #4thofjuly
  2. You cannot use spaces or special characters in hashtags. The hashtag only picks up whatever comes before the following special character or space. Option C is what we want.
    a.     #Father’s Day = #Father
    b.     #Fathers Day = #Fathers
    c.     #FathersDay = #FathersDay = #fathersday
  3. Every word (even partial words) in a Pinterest description is searchable, so don’t be redundant with your hashtags.
    For example, don’t sayHere’s a great chicken nugget recipe to make for your children tonight. #recipe #child
    Instead, you might write something like: Here’s a great chicken nugget recipe to make for your children tonight. #easydinner #family

Got Pinning Experience?

So there you have it! A round up of how to successfully start on Pinterest. What tips can you give about pinning? Share with us in the comments below. If you have questions about developing or enhancing your brand’s presence on Pinterest, ask us!

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