Creating Effective Pinterest Pins

Picture of Aliza ShermanAliza 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.

Creating Effective Pinterest Pins

Pinterest remains a popular visual platform for sharing "pinned" photographs, graphics, and videos that link to specific web pages. Pinterest "pins" are essentially visual bookmarks, and they are organized on Pinterest Boards by category.

What makes an effective pin on Pinterest? Here are some things that can start you off on the right track:

  1. Plan out where you want to lead people such as articles on your website or event registration pages. You can lead people to individual product pages if you have an online store.
  2. Come up with a plan for what types of pins you’ll repin. Keep in mind that only pinning your own content will limit your ability to grow your Pinterest following.
  3. While Pinterest is considered a social network, there is a lot less socializing and more based on sharing online content through pinning and "repinning." Commit to spending time on Pinterest on a regular basis and understand that posting multiple pins frequently is the norm. Pinning and repinning 20+ pins per day isn’t out of the ordinary for active Pinterest users.
  4. Assess the graphics on your website to make sure they are Pinterest compatible or add "pinnable" graphics on articles or product pages that you’d like people to pin.

When crafting a pin for Pinterest, pay attention to the following:

Pinterest graphics - To increase your visibility on Pinterest and to drive more traffic to your website or online store, you may need to create visuals that are more compatible with the platform than the ones you are making for Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Pinterest recommends a 2:3 aspect ratio or 1000 x 1500 pixels for graphics. According to the company, pins with an aspect ratio greater than 2:3 might get cut off in people’s feeds.

Pinterest captions - The ideal length of the text that accompanies your pin. You can use up to 100 characters for your title and up to 500 characters for your description. While you can use hashtags on Pinterest, be selective and as descriptive as possible. Use six to eight hashtags at most.

Pinterest categories - Home Decor, DIY and Crafts, Women’s Fashion, Food and Drink, Beauty, Travel, Motivational Quotes and Art are all top categories. While you should stay true to your brand, use some of the most popular topics and categories on Pinterest for inspiration.

If you’re a real estate agent, you could post pins showing different room décor and color schemes that fit into Home Décor. You could also post backyard renovation ideas and even tips for throwing a party at home that could include DIY and Crafts for decorating and Food and Drink inspiration.

What if you’re a tax accountant? You can still leverage Pinterest’s top categories by captioning pins of home décor, fashion, beauty products, and even art and talking about the cost, how to categorize major purchases in taxes, and what can be claimed on your taxes or what cannot. You can also create infographics with accounting tips that lead to your website.

If you are designing your own pins, include your company logo on the images in a subtle way. The look of the pin is what attracts people and compels them to repin your image so do not overdo the branding.

Other popular styles of pins are Infographics to explain concepts and "How To" graphics that feature an easy step-by-step process for doing something - like making a craft or accessorizing an outfit. Spend time on Pinterest to see what types of pins are trending. Note what catches your eye and analyze why they attracted your attention. Was it color? Words? Shapes? Motion? The more you use Pinterest, the more you’ll get a feel for what works and what doesn’t.

As you explore Pinterest, click on the Today button to see daily curated pins for inspiration. This section of Pinterest will also help you identify other Pinterest users who you can follow for additional inspiration and to repin their content to enhance yours.

Pinterest is different from other social networks so don’t use the "one size fits all" approach when pinning. People use Pinterest for different reasons and in different ways. Other than adhering to some of the technical specs for the platform, selecting what to pin should reflect your brand’s image and personality.