Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

Rethink How You Use Pinterest

Rethink How You Use Pinterest

Pinterest is a strange social network. The platform isn’t focused on making friends or participating in discussions or debates or getting the latest news. Pinterest started out as a bookmarking site to save links to websites in a visual manner.

The original use of Pinterest was to be able to organize and share things that inspired them on the web. The site became a place people could go for inspiration for a myriad of activities such as:

  • Planning a wedding or other celebration
  • Organizing activities for a vacation
  • Redecorating or renovating a home
  • Finding the latest fashion trends
  • Coming up with ideas for dinner

Some of the most popular categories on Pinterest are Food and Drink, DIY & Crafts, Home Décor, Women’s Fashion, and Health and Fitness. Also popular on Pinterest are quotes - any style image that features an inspirational or humorous quote - and infographics, typically long, vertical graphics with step-by-step how-to’s or simple and graphical explanations of complex topics.

Given the purpose of Pinterest and how people use it, what could you do on it to promote your business - and why would you want to?

If you’re looking to reach predominantly women, Pinterest’s audience is 60% female compared to about 43% on Facebook and 31% on Twitter. Pinterest also reaches an audience ranging from 18 years of age to over 60 in nearly equal amounts, so you can reach Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers on the platform.

To get the most of Pinterest today, you need to think visually. How can you communicate your messages and promote what you do with images and video? Here are some concrete ways that you can modify your social media marketing efforts to adapt to Pinterest’s style.

Resize Your Graphics

You may already be creating visuals for other social networks but graphics that do well on Pinterest will differ in size and shape than other social networks. The horizontal images you’ve made for Facebook and Twitter or the square ones you’re using for your Instagram feed won’t stand out on Pinterest.

Vertical images do the best on Pinterest at a 2:3 ratio with the best dimensions for graphics being 735 x 1102. The width is fixed on Pinterest, so you can grab even more attention with taller images.

Make Your Website Pinterest Ready

Make sure you have a Pinterest Business account to take advantage of all the promotional and measurement features. To do so, you need to claim your website by putting a small line of code from Pinterest into the code on your home page. Pinterest provides guidance on how to do this.

Next, add a Pinterest widget or save button to your website. By integrating these Pinterest tools into your website, you’re letting people know you’re on Pinterest and allowing them to save or "pin" your content onto their Pinterest boards.

Be sure to add your Pinterest-specific graphics to your website, blog, or online catalog so that the images people pin are attractive and attract attention.

Pin From Your Own Website

Pinterest continues to be a solid driver of website traffic. If you are using Pinterest frequently and effectively, you should see it showing up as a top 10 referrer of traffic to your website along with Facebook, Google, and other sources.

Add the Pinterest "bookmarklet" or browser button to your browser to easily pin from any web page. Each pin you post to your Pinterest feed is a visual link guiding people directly to your website.

Identify More Things to Pin

Once your website is Pinterest-ready, you should regularly pin to your own website in addition to pinning from other trusted sources that align with your message and aesthetic. For additional inspiration, here are some useful things you could be pinning:

  1. Articles and blog posts - Use Pinterest boards to organize your content archives
  2. Event registration pages - this can help increase attendance
  3. Images from your Instagram Feed - this can help build your following on Instagram
  4. Email subscription pages - this can help boost sign ups
  5. Catalog product pages - if you’re selling online, pin individual products

Weave pins from your own web pages in with pins from other sources and "repins" from the Pinterest feed to keep your pin stream interesting and varied.

The key to success on Pinterest is to pin a lot of things frequently. Luckily, you can use Pinterest on your desktop and your mobile devices, making it easier to pin something that inspires you the moment you find it.

Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman