Pinterest. All you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask.

We all have accounts on Pinterest. We search for inspiration there and even share our works there. But how to use Pinterest in a right way to gain more followers and more clients?

I asked my amazing friend Antonella, to share her knowledge and insight of Pinterest life with us.

Hello, I’m Antonella (@pinterestclinic) and I know too well how time is precious.

And since I don’t like the idea of people wasting time when they start out on Pinterest, today we’ll talk about how on this platform design is king. 

How do I know this? 

Because I’ve worked for years for Hello Society, the first Pinterest marketing firm, where my title was before influencers were a thing, “visual online influencer”. 

In case you are wondering what’s the job description, it’s nothing to do with an IG influencer that receives products or free stays at hotels or dinners at restaurants and showcases the products in posts or more recently stories. 

In Pinterest I was given a campaign, let’s say a fashion campaign by some trending designer and tons of images that I had to select from and share on the platform. I was earning based on the number of repins and likes (yes in those times you could like an image on Pinterest too) that the photo received on the platform. My job was to bring traffic.

That’s why I learnt very well what images work and what don’t. 

And I also learnt how to tell a story, visually.

Let’s dive in. 

The image is a foundation of a pin. 

It’s the reason why people go on the platform. 

Pinners, aka Pinterest users, are looking for new trends and products to buy and that’s why your image needs to stand out, be seen and in time even recognised at once as yours.

A pin can feature one image, a carousel or a video. 

It must be top quality (no grains or amateur images work).

For images, this is a perfect pin: 

Your brand must always be on the top otherwise it’ll be hidden by the lens that is at the bottom right of the image when people are scrolling images on the phone.

What photo should I post?

First, ask yourself what you want to communicate about your product or service.

Then ask yourself what format will work best? Static, carousel, video.

For example, a beautiful photo that tells a story can work on its own. 

Just keep in mind that carousels and videos have a bigger impact when you are selling a product, a service with a how-to post or travel tips and ideas.

What’s a carousel pin?

“A carousel is a Pin with multiple images and is a great way to showcase different features of a product, advertise multiple products at once or tell your brand story in chapters.

People see the carousel in their home feed just like any other Pin. They can swipe through the different images – called cards – directly from the feed. Or, they can tap on the Carousel and swipe through each card and its corresponding site, essentially swiping through the different landing pages. 

When someone saves a Carousel, they save the entire Pin including all the cards within it.”.

“How to create one?

A carousel required 2-5 pins. 

At this time only static images can be in a carousel, and the aspect ratio must be either 1:1 (square) – 2:3 (vertical) or 3:4. 

Step 1

Click on the “+” sign in the upper right of the screen and click create a pin.

Step 2

Upload a cover and resize the images then click “+create a carousel”.

Step 3

Add the title and description; if you want each card to have different text, toggle off “Apply Text to all,” or it’ll copy the title and description to every card.

Step 4

Input a destination URL. Each card can link to the same or different webpage”. (for the carousel pins and video the source is Pinterest) 

Video pins

Video Pins are a great way to tell a more comprehensive story about your brand, idea or project. Video Pins have a cover image that captures your audience’s attention.

First, make sure that the following specs are on place:

File type.mp4, .mov or .m4v
File size2 GB max
EncodingH.264 or H.265
Length4 seconds – 15 minutes
Descriptionup to 500 characters long, although only the first few lines will show in the feed
Aspect ratioPinterest accommodates standard video sizes including widescreen (16:9), square (1:1) and vertical (9:16, 4:5, 2:3).

Tip: videos are performing really well on Pinterest and are great tools if you want to show a place to visit, how to do something or showcase a product in use. Keep video between 15 and 30 seconds. Don’t rely on audio because lots of people watch it silenced. You can use captions or text overlay ONLY if that serves a purpose or adds value to that pin or places it into a context without compromising your photo. 

Now choose the right words to describe it. 

Words are important for SEO but with words, we also complement something visually pleasing, we convey an attitude and encourage someone to take action. With your words, you can reach out to that person who is looking for that specific product. 

40% of pins on Pinterest come from search results and related pins. Remember that. 

Use a call to action to make pinners want more: “shop our last collection”, “it’s on sale”…

But keep in mind two things: 

  1. Does the picture you have chosen do the job by itself or would it benefit from text overlay? 
  2. What do you want your pinner to do after they have pinned on your image: purchase, download, opt-in or sign-up?

And go vertical! 

85% of pinners use Pinterest on mobile, which means that is crucial your pin is optimised for the mobile space. (Pinterest, Global analysis 2017).

Tips: if you sell a product, try to put it within a context. Pinterest isn’t Amazon. Products here are about feelings and lifestyle photos perform better. With the carousel option, you can also show how the product can be used in everyday life. 

Do you sell pillows? Photograph them on a couch, on a bed undone, piled up in a corner, inside a basket with a dog sleeping on top of them. Create a story and context. 

Show how that product could fit in the life of the pinner. 

When you create a new layout, test it first in a secret board and check it on your phone. If it’s readable and visually appealing then you can post it. 

Now, where should I pin?

In the appropriate board, you’ve created for that content. 

The one where all your work is. It doesn’t need to be called “my IG” but it needs to be your mainboard: your blog, shop, portfolio…

Use your Pinterest presence to dig deeper into visual storytelling. 

How? Using ALL your visual content.

You can create a themed storytelling feed that groups your visual content into different boards if you like. 

How? Do you sell a product? Where can I use this product? How? When? Answer these questions and create the boards accordingly.

Already made that. Another “strategy”?

If you are, for example, a lifestyle/travel photographer and you work only within your country, create boards about your country that can establish you as a reference/authority for it. 

Why should I do this?

For Google. 

Even if simply doing this isn’t enough, because stories have meaning. 

“They weave together events in a way that demonstrates purpose and consequence”. No single image tells a story. Multiple images that are linked together by a visual narrative tell a story. Every image is a chapter in the story and each will tell a tale that guides the spectator from an opening to a conclusion. A series of photographs make a story. And this series creates your brand. 

Always remember that your first and last image are the most important (in a blog post for example). They are called “goal images” – the type of images that open and close the series to grab a viewer’s attention. 

This is storytelling…

Love you, Antonella

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