|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.|
Integrating Pinterest into Your Social Media Routine
Pinterest is a visual social network where users post "pins" - or bookmarks - that typically lead to content on other sites on the web The process of how you use Pinterest is different from other social networks, requiring more time and more frequent posting than Facebook or Instagram.
The reason people use Pinterest is also different. Pinterest is less of a site for socializing and connecting with people and more likely to be a way to get inspiration, plan events and special occasions, save items to purchase in the future, and learn new recipes or crafts.
Once you understand how Pinterest works, who you might reach and what motivates them, you may find it challenging to work Pinterest into your social media mix. Here are some ways to approach Pinterest.
Create Pinterest-Friendly Visuals
When planning your social media messaging, think about how you can create visuals that are more aligned with Pinterest’s style and popular pins. While you can pin most image sizes and shapes as well as video, the ideal Pinterest image size is 1000 x 1500px and vertical or an image with an aspect ratio of 2:3. Popular pins feature images such as step-by-step how to’s or visually appealing, colorful photographs or illustrations.
Because many Pinterest users use the platform for planning and purchasing wish lists, imagery that is aspirational or that includes helpful tips are more likely to be pinned. A clothing shop could pin fashion advice such as "10 ways to wear a scarf" or "mix and match outfits." An accountant could pin tips for "preparing for tax-time a year in advance." A photographer could pin a portfolio of their best work to attract attention and showcase their work. Look for attractive ways to illustrate your content for the greatest impact.
Follow Pinterest Trends
Pinterest regularly releases tips and suggestions for pins backed up by their market research and consumer insights. Some recent Pinterest category trends include:
Jumping on a trend can get your pins more attention, but always make sure that the trend - or the way you interpret it - is appropriate for your brand. If you’re a dentist, Wellness is a logical category to explore. Another fitting category could be Beauty or even Food if you find the dental health angle such as "Tips for a Whiter Smile" or "5 Foods Your Teeth Will Love."
Pinterest also publishes an annual report called "Pinterest Predicts" with a more extensive list of trends and more details on how they are expressed.
Set Aside Time for Pinterest Daily
While it is a social media best practice to spend time daily in any of the social networks you use for marketing and customer service, Pinterest requires more frequent sessions with multiple repins to get noticed and gain followers from the platform’s community. While you might post one to two times on Facebook or Instagram a day, or half a dozen times or more on Twitter, using Pinterest effectively means pinning 15 to 20 or more pins every day. You can space out the times you pin, doing half a dozen at a time, or do them all at once at an optimal hour based on the audience you’re trying to reach or the most popular times to pin, often late evenings into nighttime, between 8pm to 11pm.
Use a Pinterest Planner and Scheduler
Using a planning and scheduling tool for your Pinterest account is similar to using one for Twitter or LinkedIn with a third-party app. Using a tool to plan out your pins helps you be more strategic both from a messaging standpoint and a visual one. Eye catching visuals are key on Pinterest and taller images tend to stand out in the feed.
While pinning and repinning manually is an important part of using Pinterest effectively, scheduling some pins to publish throughout the week and month can help you be more strategic as well. Scheduling time-sensitive or date-specific pins is easier when you use a scheduling tool.
Not all social media scheduling apps accommodate Pinterest. Most of the ones that cover Pinterest are fee-based such as Meet Edgar, Tailwind, and Planoly. Others have a limited free version such as Hootsuite, Buffer, and Later.
Check Your Pinterest Analytics
Like other popular social networks that want to cater to businesses, Pinterest provides a variety of metrices to help you measure the success of your efforts on the platform. In addition to monitoring your advertising results, check your Pinterest analytics to get a better understanding of the impact on your marketing efforts.
You can find out the impressions, saves and clicks on individual pins or look more deeply at how your pins and account are performing including:
Overview: Monitoring Impressions, Engagement, Total Audience, and Engaged Audience
Audience Insights: Compare your followers versus all Pinterest users in terms of Categories they engage with and their Interests
Conversion Insights: In beta, to measure the overall impact of the content you create on Pinterest on driving actions
Measurement is an important aspect of any social media marketing effort. Keep tabs on your progress and which pins and campaigns are most effective to hone your Pinterest marketing skills.
Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman