If you haven’t heard, Pinterest is the fastest growing social network in history. Just like your favorite indie band that sold out, it jumped from non-existence to digital fame, seemingly overnight. In fact, the total number of unique visitors to Pinterest increased by 2,702% in roughly one year.

With well over 10 million current users and an average site visit time of 1 hour and 17 minutes, it’s clear that Pinterest packs a powerful social punch. What isn’t so clear, however, is how brands have found marketing success on the image-sharing network. In fact, a surprising number still struggle to establish a presence on the site and lack clarity in what they are doing wrong.

With the immensely under-utilized potential of Pinterest marketing opportunities weighing on our conscience, we decided to share what we know to help you improve your brand strategy. So to prevent any further head scratching at your engagement-less pins, here is what to avoid:

Not giving images enough attention: Of course the site is built around visualization, but that doesn’t mean you can throw any old picture up there and expect to garner interest. Quality matters! A blurry, out-of-focus image will not appeal to anyone. Search engines also index according to the quality of pins, so this will benefit your SEO efforts. A perfect example is that of the top Pinterest category: Food & Drink. What sells users on this cupcake recipe is the picture of layers of drool-worthy frosting and chocolate. This post from Whole Foods displays the extraordinary amount of engagement possible with an optimized image.

whole foods

Not offering an explanation: Although the focus of Pinterest is obviously visual, the pin descriptions are there for a reason. After initially being drawn in by the image, users will skim the description for further details and understanding. The site allows 500 characters for each pin, and you should take advantage of this by also including brand keywords. If applicable, include prices as well. Details are especially crucial in the popular DIY & Crafts category. One word captions like “shelf” are not likely to be as effective in encouraging engagement as this example from Etsy:


Neglecting the details: It’s important to fill out the “About” section, add links and location and get your site verified. However, there is more to do to truly optimize your Pinterest page. For example, you should include a “Pinterest” button on your website, along with your other social links, in order to promote traffic. When it comes to on-site optimization, studies have shown that users often only look at the top two rows of your boards – so make sure you have a wide variety of clear categories along with the boards that best represent your brand and industry. Mixing up the order of your boards is also a great way to refresh your image. For example, think of the way stores move around merchandise in accordance with the seasons – your holiday and themed boards can be included in the top two rows when relevant.

edit pin

Being anti-social: Over 80% of engagement on the site is a “repin.” This means “likes” and “comments” are greatly under-utilized features. Although repins are certainly important and necessary, comments are a more personal way to engage on the social network. It brings more attention to your brand, and encourages others to comment back on your pins. Keep in mind that the most popular age group on Pinterest is 25 – 34 years, and the demographic is largely women. Think of ways you can you engage them in conversation. This will lead to increased brand visibility and heighten product/service awareness.

pin users

Pinterest provides multiple marketing opportunities for brands. As the social network will only continue to gain digital momentum and popularity this year – especially with the addition of business accounts – make sure you are ready with an optimized page.

Interested in more Pinterest optimization tips? Check out our Pinterest Best Practices infographic!

Contact us today for a Pinterest social media marketing audit.