Though “Pinterest fever” has died down a bit since earlier this year, this social media platform is still an excellent resource for driving traffic to your blog. Since I've started using Pinterest, they've become my #3 site referrer (after Google and direct traffic). Though I know it can be tedious to start up yet another social networking platform, Pinterest lends itself especially well to the fashion world. The gallery style format is visually exciting and easy to navigate, and as an added bonus, you can learn about new designers, trends, and stores you may never have encountered otherwise. If you're a recent convert to Pinterest or just looking for a few quick ways to enhance your skills, here are some tips to keep in mind.
1) Verify your site.
Verifying your site confirms with Pinterest that you actually own your url, and makes your web address visible right there on your profile page. Verified sites also get a check mark which appears on both their profile page and next to their username when visitors are searching for new accounts to follow. Having a verified site not only makes you look more professional, it confirms that the person behind the Pinterest page bearing your name is the person who's actually supposed to be there (i.e. not a squatter or someone trying to piggyback on your name); this is really important for brand continuity and building trust with potential site visitors. As an added bonus, verified domains have access to Pinterest's in-house analytics dashboard.
2) Post vertically oriented pins.
Pinterest strongly favors a vertical orientation over a horizontal one; vertical pins get way more “real estate” on the Pinterest dashboard which increases their likelihood of being noticed and repinned. If you don't have very many vertical images on your blog, consider cropping a few specifically for Pinterest. You can even consider customizing some of your images with special text (such as the title of the blog post) to up their repinnability (is that a word?). And while we're on the subject of images, remember to include your url in the description when repinning images from your own site. Don't go overboard (you should be pinning from multiple sites, after all), but many people will click a link directly from the image caption, so use that to your benefit.
3) Pin strategically.
In so many words, take a look at what's getting the most repins, and do more of that. The Pinterest analytics dashboard is really good for seeing what your most repinned and most clicked-on pins are, but you can also just scroll through your recently pinned items, and see which photos got the most repins, likes, and comments. Speaking of comments…though Pinterest isn't really a place where a ton of conversations happen (unlike, say, Facebook or Twitter), try and respond to commenters if you can. It's a small thing that goes a long way towards building a sense of community on your social platforms and making people feel appreciated.
4) Use specific and descriptive folder names.
This is something I'm still working on myself! When I started, I only had two folders: lingerie and fashion. Gradually, I realized I needed other, more specific folders as well – like corsets, editorial fashion, pinup, vintage lingerie, beauty, and so on. At some point, I may get even more specific and break those folders down into more distinct categories. The point is: try not to be generic when it comes to folder names and titles. Not only will that make sorting your pins easier, it also encourages people to follow the folders that are the perfect fit for them…and who doesn't want more followers?
5) Don't remove the credits!
Though I'm sure no one here has ever been guilty of this, keep brand, store, designer, photography, magazine, and other credits intact when repinning images. Nothing is more shady and dishonest than stripping away the credit from a photo before pinning it to your own boards. Aside from being unfair to the creators of the image (who deserve to be credited), it's also unfair to the people who follow you. After all, they deserve to know who made the gorgeous items you thought were worth sharing! Removing the credits from images makes Pinterest less useful to everyone, and undermines your credibility as a blogger. Just don't do it.
What are some of your best tips for using Pinterest? Please share them in the comments!