Setting up your Pinterest profile is all about the chemistry. You need the right mixture of great visuals and descriptions, the right mixture of timing and content, with your decisions being driven by analytics (and sometimes an extra special elements, to kick it into high gear). Like in your high school chemistry class, getting the elements wrong can result in catastrophe – though with fewer chemical showers. Keep reading to learn the six key elements of a the best Pinterest profiles.
Analytics: The Core Elements of The Best Pinterest Profiles
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half” – John Wanamaker
If John Wanamaker had analytics in the 1920’s, he might not have spoken these famous words. The man practically invented modern marketing, and yet most of the time he was flying blind. When something worked fabulously or failed miserably, the best he could do was guess. Today, we have better options. We have analytics.
Analytics allows you to understand what’s working — and what isn’t — using real data. It gives you hard information about how your strategy is performing, and allows you tweak your approach in real time. But in order for analytics to work, particularly on an ever-changing social platform like Pinterest, you’ll first need to what those analytics represent.
In other words, if you want the best Pinterest profile out there, a keen eye for marketing isn’t enough. The more you can refine your approach with real data, the better your results will be.
Beautiful Images: The Visual Element
Pinterest is a uniquely visual social media platform. People aren’t just sharing and pinning any old photos, they’re curating images that summarize an idea, a dream or a feeling. Nothing ruins that kind of expression faster than a photo that is too low-resolution, has the wrong aspect ratio or is cropped poorly. Your followers aren’t looking for boring photos to pin, they’re looking for evocative images that communicate something bigger than words.
How do you know if your images are working? Analytics. By paying attention to which images capture the most attention through likes, repins and comments — and by paying even more attention to those that fall flat — you can start to see patterns in what kinds of images deliver the best results for you.
Consistent Pinning: The Timing Element
The best-performing Pinterest profiles all have something in common: They pin new content consistently, and they time their updates to when their audience is most active. It might be easiest for you to post late in the evening, when you finally have a moment of quiet after a long and busy day, but unless your followers are night owls or live in a different time zone, it’s probably not the best time to reach them.
It’s important to pin around the clock, and to time your posts so that they’re seen by the biggest possible audience. To do that, you need a powerful scheduling tool like Tailwind to identify the peak times to pin, and to schedule those pins in advance.
Pinterest is Pinterest: The Differentiating Element
Pinterest isn’t like other social media platforms. Techniques that thrive on Twitter or Facebook often crash and burn here, leaving many social experts scratching their heads. Snappy text and controversy-bait posts simply fail on Pinterest. In some ways, it’s not even fair to call Pinterest a social media platform at all.
Pinterest is more of a discovery platform, where people come to encounter new things, find ideas for a future event, or simply be inspired. The more your profile speaks to this, the better it will perform. If you want to track and improve that performance, you’ll need an analytics tool that was created specifically for the needs of Pinterest users.
Descriptions: The Contextual Element
Images are greater than words on Pinterest, but text still has a huge role to play in the performance of your profile. When people search for the most relevant pins, they type in words to find them. The descriptions on your pins, profile page and boards should be keyword rich, and also provide context for what kind of content you post.
Words can be tricky. Are your followers looking for “Ikebana” or “flower arrangement”? Do they search more for “B&Bs” or “Country Inns”? Tiny word choices can have a huge impact on your profile’s performance, and the only way to know what works best is trial and error. With the right analytics, you’ll be able to choose the right words for the best results.
Rich Pins: The Special Element
As Pinterest tries out new features, you’ll need an independent method for judging their performance. Rich Pins are a good example. Is the App Pin you’ve posted generating new downloads? Is your Article Pin bringing you new readers? Is there any relationship between your Product Pin and your site’s conversion rate? With new Cinematic and Buyable Pins on the way, knowing what really works is more important than ever.
By tracking the performance each kind of pin, from standard images to Rich Pins, you can quickly and easily see what works best for your profile. Instead of relying on guesswork, you can use the Tailwind to find real answers and deliver real results.
Maybe you’d even get the kind of results that would make John Wanamaker proud.
What element do you consider to be the most important? Let us know in the comments!
Melissa Megginson is resident Marketing Manager and Cat Lady at Tailwind, the leading Pinterest tool for brands. Melissa specializes in content creation, social media, blogging, PR outreach and pretty much all things marketing. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at @MelMegg.