Next month it’s going to be one year since I started using Pinterest. Looking back it probably started with Oh, what’s this Pinterest thing everyone is talking about… and two hours later I had more than twenty boards, a gazillion unsorted pins and on each scroll I was overwhelmed with all the different pins that appeared. It was like finding a new continent or rediscovering internet again. There were Saturdays where my mom and I would sit together, scrolling down on a sea of food decoration tutorials, or Christmas diy till the end of the feed.
As time passed I started realizing my profile was a complete mess, I had everything design and illustration packed up in one board, food recipes together with gardening pins, till I decided to do a major spring cleaning. If I don’t feel right having my desktop all cluttered why would I leave my profile like that? I decided to pick key topics for my boards and instead of 20 I narrowed it down to 18 (I know it’s only two but at least now they all have a purpose) and after reading a couple of posts on the subject I also realized how Pinterest could be a useful tool, not only for personal recreation but also for my business. Which brings me to today’s post where I thought I could share some key aspects that I have learned along the way:
ADOPT THE DOV SYSTEM
It might sound a little intimidating mainly because of the word “system” but fear not, it just packs up three key words that are probably the base of a solid Pinterest profile: be organized, visual and direct.
Organized: as I mentioned before, you don’t want to have food pins inside a gardening board, unless the food picture it’s the result of your gardening collects, for example. The key is to find the balance between having too many boards and having it all packed up just into one. Example: On my photography board, besides photography, I place there tutorials related to the subject but after realizing most of them were related to styling props, I decided to create a styling board and moved some of the pins there. In this case I branched out a sub-theme of photography into another board.
Visual: Did you know you can change the cover of your boards? Move your mouse on top of the board and a “change cover” button will appear. After that you choose from all the pins you have inside that board. In here you have the opportunity of pulling off a first impression of the aesthetics you’re aiming to with your feed. Does your feed transmit a minimalist feeling? Do you pin a lot of edgy imagery? This part is especially important for people in the creative field who are promoting their work/craft and want their audience to connect with them. So remember, consistency is the key.
Direct: When I first started creating my boards I put a lot of effort naming them trying to come up with fun and creative names like “say cheese” for my photography board. But guess what? No one (or almost no one) will search for photographic content with say cheese. Or search for recipes by typing “feed my tummy”. Names like this won’t make you very searchable, people often use direct and simple words to search for what they want. And this also applies to the descriptions you give to your pins. These two will increase the chances of your pins to appear on the results of someone’s search.
PREFER QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Good quality pictures have more chances of being repined and that’s a fact. And did you know vertical pins grab much more attention than horizontal ones? Might be because horizontal images show up small while vertical ones, if they have a good size, can stand out more on the feed. Now you are asking, what is a “good” size for pins? Designer Rob Russo from designerrobrusso.com can answer that question. On his blog post Perfect Pinterest Pin Size, recently updated, he run tests to see which size would make pins look best. The result was: 735px wide by 1102px high. He also shared a board where he included examples on size guides for Pinterest, so you can check them out and see which one works best for you.
One way of getting yourself or your work out there is to use Pinterest also as a marketing tool. Whenever you add a new project to your portfolio or just created a new blog post, you pick the best image of it and share it in your feed. If you want to increase the chances of someone else to share them, a “Pin It” hover button on your blog/site would be a good idea. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a little button/icon, personalized or not, that will automatically send you to the “pin window” where you choose the board and the description you want before pinning it.
I came across with two tutorials that I thought they could be useful in case you want to implement this feature: in the first one, Rose from everylittlepolish.com teaches you how to add a “Pin It” hover button to your images, (for WordPress) and on the second one, Rylee Blake teaches you how to custom these buttons.
After all these changes and a more business oriented direction I can still enjoy Pinterest like I used to (that’s where the secret boards come in) because besides being a powerful marketing tool and strong visual source of inspiration there’s no problem if by the end of the day you end up searching Christmas diy in the middle of August or funny quotes from your favorite tv shows to increase your mood. Take advantage of it and just have fun!