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The Importance Of Being Pinnable

Pinterest has hit 48 million users and as one of the fastest growing social media platforms, it is becoming a force to be reckoned with.  Writing a successful blog post is no longer a case of using carefully selected keywords, good content and clicking ‘publish’ – blog posts now have to be shared across the various social media platforms in order to maximise your readership and your reach, and of course, your conversions.  Those social media platforms must include Pinterest.  However, I am constantly surprised by the number of posts that I pin and they just aren’t ‘pinterest-ready’.

Pinnable images

Pinterest Tutorial – How to ensure your blog posts are pinnable

Pinterest Tutorial How To Ensure Your Blog Posts Are Pinnable# 1. Image Selection

Spend some time choosing the right image for your blog post. If it is a post about a visual topic, for example, interiors or fashion, you’ll be using plenty of images in the post in any case.  If it is more of a business / non-visual type post, you know already that you need the occasional image to break up the text and for visual interest but  you need to  work out how your image will appeal to those on Pinterest.

# 2. Infographics

Many companies are creating infographics to sum up statistics or impart knowledge. Posting the infographic in a blog post means that when the pinner clicks on the infographic, they will be brought to your post, complete with more information and a call to action. Most infographics are long and narrow in design, hence taking up more space on the column layout of a Pinterest page. However, beware of creating one that is much longer than a screen size of a laptop as viewers will lose interest.

# 3. Instructographics

Pinterest - Example of an InstructographicAn instructographic is a text image that promises answers, tips and knowledge. Pinners know that the instructographic will ‘do what it says on the tin’ and the full instructions, answers or tutorial will be found once the pin is clicked. Instructographics can be as simple as the one I have used above which has text on a white background or it can be a series of images as the crochet example here.

Instructographics should promise tips, answers, instructions or a tutorial. Starting them with words such as ‘How to ….’, ‘Ten Tips ….’,  ‘Free Pattern for ….’, ‘Step by Step Instructions for ….’, ‘Tutorial for ….’, ‘5 Ways to ….’, and ‘7 Top Reasons for ….’. They can be formed from text on a plain background or text over an image (just ensure the text is legible).  What I like about this crochet instructographic is that one knows at a glance that one will find the written instructions when one clicks on the link and as a nice added touch, the text is written in a stitching-like font!

# 4. Most important for Pinterest – name that image

It is exceedingly important that when a person pins your post, that the descriptor (containing the keyword/s you have carefully selected and used) is pinned with the image.  Yes, the individual may remove your descriptor and add their own but this is unlikely.  If the descriptor is not there, the potential pinner has to take the time to add a description – which means that they may not bother, they may abort the pinning process, they are unlikely to use the keyword you’d like used.  Remember that pinterest boards are now being featured on google searches so you want the keywords to be there.

Many of the Pinterest plugins will automatically post the blog post title as the descriptor which works great, however, don’t rely on this. Many pinners won’t bother to scroll up or down to the top or bottom of the post to use the plugin or by habit, they will pin using their bookmarklet tool on their toolbar. If the image isn’t named appropriately, the descriptor will be whatever the image has been called, e.g IMG9574.jpg!!

The quickest and easiest way to name all of the images used in your post is to rename as you are uploading them (in wordpress) or rename them when resizing/editing them and saving them in your folder.

Pinterest_Tutorial - How to ensure your posts are pinnable

Rename it in the title, alt title and the descriptor boxes when uploading the image to your blog post.

# 5. Name every image

You should name all the images in the blog post appropriately as you don’t have control over which image the pinner will actually pin.  If your post is filled with images that don’t necessarily illustrate what the post is about, the descriptor alone won’t entice people to repin or click, for example, a post filled with screenshots won’t work to its potential. Therefore, it is a good idea to create an image that spells it out at a quick glance – for example, text image used at the top of this post incorporates a pin so anyone glancing at it knows immediately that it will have something to do with pinterest.

If you are unsure about how to add text to a photo, read this tutorial for picmonkey and pinwords.

These steps will take seconds yet I’m constantly amazed by the number of bloggers that aren’t making their posts as pinnable as they can.  Don’t be one of them – from now on, choose and name your images appropriately for much better results on Pinterest.

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Images:  ”three blank photo pinned on wall  /

Lorna Sixsmith is a social media trainer at Write on Track, providing mentoring, training and content creation services to SMEs. Particularly passionate about blogging and Pinterest, Lorna also teaches these courses online at We Teach Social. Married to a dairy farmer in SE Ireland, Lorna recently self published her first book 'Would You Marry A Farmer?', a humourous look at life married to an Irish farmer.

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  • Too right on the last point- I am also amazed at the number of social media and marketing blogs especially who don’t caption, title and name their images for Pinterest

  • I just pinned a really interesting post there now (about blogging) and the main image had the word ‘fence’ showing up when I pinned it – I did continue to write the description and pin it but it might not have been the descriptor the author might have liked.

  • Excellent advice as always

  • That was good advice to name the picture. Careful picture selection to go along with the post will help me a lot. Thanks again for the ideas.

  • Thanks Marie 🙂

  • Yes, it’s essential really for Pinterest and so many (including social media sites) aren’t doing it. Glad you found it useful 🙂 Lorna

  • Super post Lorna, What can Tweak Your Biz do to make ourselves more pinnnable? I love the hear your thoughts!

  • Great post Lorna, I now understand the importance of working closer with the images I use in my blogposts – to make them more “pinnable” Thanks for the simple explanations!

  • Delia @ Blog Formatting

    Thanks for yet another great article Lorna, learned quite a few things from this post, including why the description of an image is important! Do you think would be useful to add the actual link to the post in the image description so that it keeps it when it’s pinned? Thanks in advance!

  • Delia @ Blog Formatting

    Hi Niall, jumping in since I’m coming to the site for the first time and I noticed a few things 🙂 You need to have a Pinterest icon with every post. I really wanted to share this one with my Pinterest followers but I could not find how 🙁
    I know I can copy the link and perhaps pin an image, add the link to it etc. but it’s too complicated for people to do it.
    My 2 cents, all with good intention to make the content of this great site more share-able.
    Have a great day!

  • Sian Phillips

    Thanks for your comment Delia and I completely agree. In fact we are the process of adding a Pin It button too – the techies are on the case 🙂 In the meantime I always have a Pin It button on my browser to simply add to my Pinterest boards. Just hit the button, choose your board and it’s done

  • I agree Sian, having a ‘Pinit button’ on your browser makes it very easy to share content to Pinterest. And for those articles on sites where there are no images there are lots of alternaitve free tools you can use to create images or quotes to share to Pinterest.

    Some sites may choose to block sharing to Pinterest and some sites choose to prioritise the social bookmarks based on where they understand their audience to be of course.

    Pinterest still has a relatively low level of user adoption in Ireland and the UK however we are seeing it being integrated into a number of online retailers sites.

    Niall to your question, I recommend going back to the guidance in the article from Lorna and review the names of your images – you have four images on this article which gives visitors four choices of the image that they choose to share so all need to be optimised. Though many of us of course will choose to refine what we post to Pinterest in the description.

    This of course does mean there is more time involved for refining your content marketing which will have an impact on the resources needed from your team.

  • HI Delia, Many thanks for visiting. I agree, the pin in plug in is a good idea but I have to admit that I’ve discovered I often return to the middle of a post to reread something and don’t bother to scroll up or down to the plug in and tend to use the bookmarklet tool in the toolbar. It’s a good idea to have it though as it reminds people to pin it and lets them know they have ‘permission’ to do so too.

  • I agree Krishna, yes, it is important to rename ALL the images in the blog post (and sometimes related posts images show up too but I don’t think you can do anything about those) – I was sure I had named all the images and just doublechecked, the screenshot image and the ‘pin’ with text image carry the descriptor which describes the post, the crochet instructographic simply explains what it is (ie an example of an instructograhic as I felt that was appropriate for that image), however the image from TYB (the wide landscape one which I would hope wouldn’t be pinned due to its shape and scale) doesn’t carry the descriptor as I didn’t put in the image (though I had thought I’d checked it – my error). It may be an idea for TYB to change the shape of the main image they use as portrait images work best on Pinterest.
    As Krishna said too, pinners may change the descriptor but unless it is something they disagree with, they are unlikely too. Many are likely just to add their own personal few words or else let it be.

  • Thanks Elaine glad to hear you found it useful 🙂

  • The image will keep the link within the image anyway, if you know what I mean Delia, if the image is clicked on, it will bring pinners to the post. I think I read somewhere too that you can’t add links in the descriptor with the New Look Pinterest but I’ll have to double check that. Personally I think a link in the descriptor looks a bit ‘spammy’ as the image carries the link anyway. I hope that makes sense – do let me know your thoughts though 🙂

  • Thanks Niall, I added some thoughts in my reply to Krishna below. I know it takes time but if all images could be renamed with the title of the post or something similar, it would help the pinnability a lot. Plus, choose a pin it plug in that automatically picks up the title (though remember some people will still use their bookmarklet tool).
    The main image in TYB posts is landscape which doesn’t work so well in Pinterest in that it’ll take up less space and be less noticable than a portrait image (because of the column nature of Pinterest) so it might be worthwhile thinking about that too.

  • Lorna yes visual marketing does bring it’s challenges. For example it may be that the template of a website requires a landscape image and in that case adding a second image that will be attractive for Pinterest is an option. But then you have to consider the size of an image that works well for Facebook and LinkedIn! It’s certainly making digital communications interesting.

  • Yes, I agree Krishna, Sian had said the landscape photo was required here. It’s all about trying to ensure that a photo aimed at Pinterest is either beautiful or makes clear it will be useful. Sharing a blog post across the platforms isn’t as easy as it sounds 😉

  • Great points made ladies and as always learning something new every day

  • Wow, great conversation over the weekend, ladies! Thanks a lot Delia, Krishna and Lorna for such great advice. Sian and I will have a call this week to discuss and you should see some changes ASAP.

  • If you’ve any questions re Pinterest, feel free to holler 🙂

  • What a great topic. We were just talking about how to create an effective Pinterest campaign for our company once we start blogging more regularly! Very timely. Thanks for the post!

  • Hi Lorna,

    I enjoyed reading your article. Now I know the importance of having synchronized image and its description in all my online doings like using it on my blogs. Thanks for the concept 🙂

  • Glad to hear 🙂

  • Thanks Anika 🙂

  • Hi,

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I would like to add that you don’t have to be a web designer to create fantastic pinnable images. I use Paint Software, which is the simplest of all, and I edit, add text to my images, and add my blog’s URL for credit

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