By now, we all know what Pinterest is. We’ve all been lured in by visual discoveries, collecting beautiful pictures of our hopes, dreams, and better lives (or alter egos).
There’s an art and a science to Pinterest that many businesses haven’t capitalized on, and it’s not the theory of relativity (as much as I swear the clock speeds up after I’ve logged into my account—surely I haven’t been pinning for three hours?).
For businesses and blogs to make the most of Pinterest, it helps to realize what it takes to make an impressive pin. And we mean that literally. The best pins make an impression, and they do so with a thorough, almost intuitive, understanding of how the brain processes information, words, and emotions. It’s not just about attractive models or close-up shots of shortcake (although both are helpful). Artful text overlays, emotional graphics, action verbs, and compelling content all play a vital role in what makes a Pin virally successful.
Be beautifully helpful.
Invite your would-be pinners to action. Help them see themselves in your image. They usually (but not always) know what they want to do/build/bake/sew/buy—they just don’t always know how or where to find it. Help them. Get their attention by reminding them they are capable, and then gently empower them to make the decision to pin, and then click the link, and onward.
Pinterest is not for the amateur photographer or wordsmith. This doesn’t mean you have to get paid for taking pictures or writing to do a good job (but isn’t that kind of the point?); it simply means that your pins will need to be thoughtful, impactful, and dynamic in order to be received well. Images, and text, should be crisp and in good taste, and they should lead the user down the path of enlightenment—which is to your website and your other amazing pins.
Know the rules.
There are two things you need to know about Pinterest: You can be wildly creative, but it’s best to stick to their guidelines. Pinterest has few, but firm, rules on what they allow on their site when using promoted pins, so make sure you know them before mixing your creative juices together. Here are the main ones to remember:
- Stay away from promotional material in the image. When mentioning your promotion in the text, be very clear about what it is and when it expires (include the year!).
- Make sure your pin’s destination page is relevant, available, and error-free.
- Don’t be gross.
Embrace your inner analytical scientist.
Here’s where it can get fun for the nerds and nerve-wracking for the crafties: the data you can grab and use from your Pins is downright amazing. Harness it by using unique tracking URLS, landing pages, targeting parameters, device breakouts. This data, when analyzed correctly, will tell you which pins are performing and thereby also tell you how you should direct future creative endeavors. Don’t let the numbers paralyze you; use the information to help you flex your graphic design muscles and increasing marketing vocabulary.
Right brain meet left brain. Now use this meeting of the minds to make some magic.