It’s Friday Find It time again and we’re looking at how to label your pictures, particularly for use on pinterest. Una saw this labelled picture I had created for a blog post and wondered how I did it:
First of all – Why Label Pictures for Pinterest?
This picture was used as the first picture in a blog post about how to decorate a child’s nursery. If I had just pinned the picture without the text, others would have just presumed it was a picture of wall stickers – which of course it is. However, with the text, it carries the message that if the picture is clicked on in pinterest, the ‘pinnee’ will be brought to a blog post which contains many tips on decorating nurseries for young children.
People don’t just pin pretty pictures of cute dogs, inspiring interiors and pretty crockery on pinterest. They are also looking for information in the form of tutorials or tips – from how to attach crocheted granny squares to what exercises they should do to firm up their abdominal muscles. Colby Almond has called these instructographics and I think it’s the perfect description.
This labelled picture was created using pinwords which provides a few different fonts and is very easy to use. However, each picture has the Pinwords logo in the bottom righthand corner. It is free to use though.
1. Go to Pinwords
2. Upload a photo from your computer or use one of theirs. It is best to choose a photo that has some plain background so the text can be read more easily.
4. Write your text into the box on the right, you’ll see it appearing as you type. With the cursor, move the text to the preferred placement against a plain background. Click Pin It and then just right click on the image to save it to a pictures folder on your computer.
5. And this is the finished result:
How to use Picmonkey to add Text to your Photos
1. Go to Picmonkey.com
2. Click edit photo at the left side and then upload your chosen photo. Choose a photo with some plain background so the text can be seen easily.
3. Click ‘P’ on the left side which produces the choice of fonts. Then click ‘add text’ at the top which will then appear superimposed on the photos. Type in your chosen text.
4. Highlight the various words to choose from a selection of fonts if you wish. You can also change the text colour, size, fade, bold or italics.
5. Then click save (at the top), name your photo and resize if necessary. Save to your chosen folder on your computer and this is the finished product.
Pinwords is at its ‘early days’ stage and I’d imagine more functionality will be added soon. It is very easy to use. However, it doesn’t have as many choices available and the ‘pinwords’ text remains on your photo. For adding simple text, it is quicker to use than picmonkey.
Picmonkey offers so much besides adding text and is definitely worth checking out.
Using Pinterest effectively for your business can be easy if you know what you are doing. The slides below include examples of pins for various businesses, pin etiquette, tips for creating great pins, ideas for shared boards and the advantages of using Pinterest for your own business.
This is a question that I’m being asked frequently during training sessions and being asked ‘How can I get more followers on pinterest’ in a tweet the other evening, I decided to devote the topic to a post as the answer is a lot longer than 140 characters!
How To Get More Followers On Pinterest:
- Follow Me: Add the ‘follow me on pinterest’ button to the sidebar of your blog or on your website.
- Email: You could add it to the signature of your emails too.
- Facebook connections: If you log in with facebook, pinterest flags your account to those friends already on pinterest so most will start to follow you immediately.
- Facebook & Twitter: Sync your pinterest account with your twitter and facebook accounts (bear in mind, you can only sync it to your personal facebook account, not a business page) but don’t overdo the pinning to twitter or facebook. Little and often!
- Personality & Great Pins: Before you start following lots of people that you don’t know, spend some time setting up some boards and some great pins which others might be interested in repinning and which show your personality. Think about what your potential customers are interested in e.g. if you are selling vacuum cleaners that are great for getting rid of pet hair, then create a board for cute dogs. If you are selling kitchen sinks, pinning pictures of amazing kitchens in different styles should attract those planning a new kitchen.
- Good Quality Pictures: Always pin pictures with a wow quality – be they your own or other images. Poor photography just won’t be repinned nor will it impress.
- Keywords: Think about how you name your boards – using keywords if possible. The same goes for your pins and descriptors. Look at the most popular pins on repinly and see how they are named.
- Boards – Remember to re-arrange your boards. Move seasonal ones to the bottom of the page e.g. Easter and vary other boards around every now and then too. Do Not have Christmas boards at the top of your page in February (yes, I’ve seen plenty of them).
- Follow other people. The easiest way to follow people with similar interests is to look at the top right hand corner on the profile of someone you are following and you’ll see the accounts they have pinned from. The follow button is right beside their name and avatar.
- Look at Ratio: If you want most of the people to follow you back, choose those who have an almost equal number of ‘following’ as they have ‘followers’. Don’t expect someone with thousands of followers who is only following 60 people to follow you back.
- Comment on other pins and use the @username if you want to bring someone else’s attention to that pin. People will respond to comments (and follow back) but I’ve noticed not that many people are commenting on pins.
- Hashtags: You can use hashtags in your description (but don’t overdo it – apply the same rules as to twitter as a tweet or description filled with hashtags makes many people want to reach for the ‘unfollow’ button)
- Pay: You can buy Pinterest followers but I always think that the followers will come if the content is good.
- Pin regularly, some say anything between 5-30 pins a day is recommended. I’d suggest little and often. I don’t like going to my pinterest page and seeing it full of the same type of pins from one user. You can schedule pinning now on pingraphy (still in beta phase though and like pinerly, it doesn’t display the name of the website you pinned from. It doesn’t offer GMT as a time zone yet either)
- 80:20 rule: Pin some of your own content but also pin from other sources too, rather than just repinning all the other content. Be original! Aim to have about 20% of your own content within your pins.
- Pinning buddies: No harm setting up a pinning relationship with a friend whereby you pin some content from their website and they pin from yours (if that fits in with your boards). Then, both of you get double exposure.
- Use Pinerly: Having signed up to pinerly, I was invited to submit my details and am now listed there as a ‘suggested follow’. However, I haven’t noticed an influx of followers from it as yet.
- Shared boards: Creating and becoming members of shared boards and pinning to them means that you and your pins get more exposure (and more followers). I pinned a number of ‘pinterest blog posts’ to a shared ‘Pinterest Day’ board yesterday and received more followers immediately.
Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are hugely popular pinterest accounts so do give it some time. Pinterest is one way to increase your brand awareness and then, to build on sales. Like all the social media platforms, it takes time and good content.
If you have any questions or comments regarding your own pinterest account, do share them in the comment box.
Are you on Pinterest? Do connect with me there.
If you’ve been wondering about creating a shared board but weren’t sure of the topic, we have 11 ideas to help you in your strategy.
I recently set up a shared board on pinterest inviting others to share their ‘decorating stories’, mostly before and after pictures of upcycled furniture and redecorated rooms. What I have found is that more and more people are following that particular board than any of my other individual boards so it can be a great way to ensure your pins are seen by a wider audience.
I have recently been invited to join shared boards on Irish blogs and on wallpaper – which I will use to promote my own blogs and of course, the wallpapers I sell too.
If you are wondering how to set up a shared board on pinterest – here’s our explanation of how to do it.
Here’s some ideas for type of shared boards that would work well on Pinterest:
1. Travel Agencies – invite clients to share some holiday photos onto a shared board. Encourage your staff to share their photos there too. This encourages interaction with your customers as well as providing photographs of your holiday destinations.
2. Photographers – Creating ideas for a photoshoot and sharing the board with models, stylists and other participants. See how our photographer for the Grafton Media Blog Awards photoshoot used a shared board to inspire the photoshoot.
3. Organising Events: Ask speakers to share photos / slides / videos before the event in order to promote themselves and the event.
4. Organising Exhibitions: Invite exhibitors to share photos of some of their products – this should attract attention from those considering attending the exhibition too.
5. Hotels – Ask guests to share photos of their stay there, of their meal, of the activities they took part in and local places they visited.
6. Travel Agencies – create a shared board for travel tips.
7. Fashion / Retail – ask people to share photos of themselves wearing clothes/accessories from your store. There are so many fashion blogs where people show photos of themselves that I think this would be a popular one.
8. Pet stores – people love showing pictures of their pets so create a shared board for their pets in cute poses or wearing the collars/accessories they purchased from your store.
9. Retail/ Exhibitor – create a shared ‘Trends’ board where people can share pictures they find of the latest trends. It becomes a treasure trove of ideas as well as creating a community feeling within your pinterest account.
10. Wool/Fabric shops – knitting, crochet and patchwork amongst other crafts, have become increasingly popular and people love to share photos of what they have created. Create a shared board for your customers.
11. Bookshops – create a shared board and invite people to submit reviews (link to their blog ) of recent books. Bookclubs could create shared boards too.
12. Weddings – for anything to do with weddings, invite the couple to share pictures of wedding cakes, floral arrangements, wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, honeymoon pictures …… The bride will probably create shared boards to share with her bridesmaids and her photographer at the very least.
Many thanks to Elish of Irish Furniture Fair for discussing the topic of shared boards with me and coming up with some of the ideas above.
Have you created shared boards? Have you found them useful for your business? Do share your experiences with us. I hope these have given you some ideas for how you could create a shared pinterest board for your business.
Hearing that pinterest is driving as much traffic to businesses as google +, Linked in and youtube combined is all very well, but how do you know that your pinning is working? How do you monitor your efforts and time spent on pinterest? How can you tell what % of your pins are being repinned? How many people are visiting your website as a result of your activity on pinterest and if pinterest is helping your bottom line?
The Pinterest Way
One way to see which pins are being pinned from your website is to place your website after http://www.pinterest.com/source as shown here – http://www.pinterest.com/source/write-on-track.com – this will show the pins pinned by myself, Marie and any other party who has pinned our blog posts.
Pinterest also emails you each time a pin is repinned, liked or commented on – this information also comes for any pins you have repinned.
I have started using Pinerly to assess the success of my pinning. Pinerly is a new website that provides pinanalytics, tips, suggested people to follow and will be introducing scheduling of pins shortly too.
How does Pinerly work:
It will only provide a report on those pins pinned via the pinerly bookmarklet hence it will only provide information on the pins you have pinned yourself, not on those pinned by other people.
You need to install the pinerly bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar and pin the image or blog post by clicking on it. Each image that is pinned creates a separate ‘campaign’ and Pinerly provides statistics on your campaigns daily and it also sends you a weekly update to show your progress.
Once you click on the pinerly bookmarklet, this box will open and you fill in the details as shown. You can add text to the picture if you wish to as well.
You then click on the Pinerly It button, and it will ask you to click on a ‘pin to pinterest’ button and you can choose which board to pin to, hence it is a two-step process rather than just a single step.
I have to admit I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been using pinterest or pinerly as much as previously. However, what I have noticed is that while my recent pins haven’t been getting very many repins or likes, they have been receiving click throughs to the website. My pins receive many more clicks than they do likes or repins and that surprised me. The pinanalytics will also tell you the reach that each pin achieved.
When you look at the statistics in Repinly and see how many repins some pins manage to achieve while you get one or two, it can be a little disheartening for some. But I would argue that the value is also in the click throughs, those people who are clicking to see your blog post or your product. Being able to see the number of click throughs in pinerly is one of its strengths.
Suggested Pinners to Follow
Pinerly offers a number of suggested pinners to follow under the various categories. They emailed me over a week ago asking for my information as they were going to add me to one of the categories. It will be interesting to see if I get many new followers as a result once they add me to it.
I had to wait a couple of months for my application to Pinerly to be accepted, they are allowing people to join by invitation so if you would like to try it out, do send me your email address and I’ll send you an invite.
Google Analytics would be the most reliable method to guage your success and evaluate how to improve. I have to admit that I have still to set up funnels in Google Analytics to see what sales are resulting from click throughs to the website. I intend to do that asap and then I’ll share the results with you.
If you would like to learn more about pinterest, I am presenting a talk in Carlow on 29th August and if you live far away, stay tuned for news of our new website providing online training – launching soon 🙂
In our last post, we talked about how creating an extra wide photograph for your facebook page can really highlight that photograph and status. In this post, I’m going to show you how to create a long, tall and skinny photograph for pinterest and why this is a good idea.
Photos on pinterest are all the same width which is predetermined by Pinterest and your photographs will fit into that scale. However, photographs can be as long as they like so a long, tall, skinny photo will gain more attention on the pinterest page – this is why infographics are long and narrow.
You may notice too that tutorials such as how to create a complicated french plait, will show a series of photographs collaged into a single long image and while I’m not going to suggest to try to make every photo you pin a long, tall and skinny photo, it is a good idea to do so occasionally.
‘Before and after’ photographs are perfect for this, as are tutorials as I mentioned above if you can take a series of photographs to show progress.
Here’s how to do it by using pic monkey first to create the collage:
Choose the collage layout you would like to use on the left. Decide how many photos you would like to use. In this example, I am showing one ‘before’ and one ‘after’ so I choose the number with the least number of boxes – 3.
When you first upload the photos, they will go into a box on the left so it is simply a case of moving them across with the cursor. You may find that the photo is off centre as you can see in the top example below but you can still move around the photo to centre the object.
As you can see below, the chair has now been centred. Next – I want to get rid of the third box which is surplus, plus I want the photo to be long and narrow so I click on the little ‘x’ in the top right hand corner and it disappears.
You can see below that the removal of the box on the left hasn’t changed the dimensions of the overall collage which as stayed at 1024 x 1024 hence the photo itself has become skewed in scale plus I want to create a long tall skinny photo!
What you need to do next is move the cursor in on the sides of the boxed collage until you are happy with the scale and your photo is long, tall and skinny!
Then, save it to your blog post and you’ll see on this post how I created two collages but really, for pinterest, the long image is the best. Pin it and see it on the pinterest page.
There you have it – all the tips you need to create long, tall and skinny photos for pinterest – particularly useful for showing ‘before and after’ shots or tutorials. We offer tutorials in how to use pinterest effectively for your business so do get in contact if you would like to book one.
As with all social media tools, there are written and unwritten rules as to how you use them. Pinterest isn’t any different and we’ve come up with our suggestions to ensure you know what you’re doing when you go to use it and you don’t break any pinetiquette rules.
- Pin Little & Often – Don’t spend an hour pinning and auto-tweeting as it will annoy your followers on twitter for a start. If I go to my pinterest page and see that one person I follow has pinned so many similar pins that it almost fills the page, I am likely to unfollow them so it is best to pin 2 or 3 of your own images, repin a few and leave it at that and then come back to it two or three times a day.
- Don’t Self-Promote – Don’t fill your boards with your own products. True pinners love visuals so they fill their boards with pictures they enjoy and love and this shows their personality and that of their brand. Follow the 80/20 rule – 80% other people’s products, 20% your products.
- Credit the Source – If using a pin on your facebook page or within a blog post, always always always credit the source. You can use the embed button on pinterest to insert the pin in your blog post.
- Personality – Show the personality of your brand by creating boards that enhance or complement your services or your products e.g. a photographer could have a boards on wedding dresses, exotic locations, kids and gardens – to bring his/her business to the attention of engaged couples but also to show their personality and passions.
- Your Reputation – If you are a business pinner then bear in mind the reputation of your brand when repinning or pinning images, for example, while many fashion pins may include women or men in scanty lingerie or underwear, a board containing such pins may not be expected by your audience and may damage your online reputation particularly if you are selling homewares or children’s furniture.
- Reciprocate– Follow back those who follow you.
- Twitter – if you are auto-tweeting from your pins, remember to check into twitter too to see if you’ve received any responses on your pinning.
- Interaction – According to Repinly, we spend 0.5% of our time on pinterest commenting so it seems that we’re mostly interacting there by repinning rather than having conversations. Leave a comment on the occasional pin and if someone comments on one of your pins, do respond – it could be the start of a beautiful friendship 🙂
Today’s Find It Friday is about pinterest (we’re having a pinterest week here – did you notice?;) ). Following a consultation with a new client recently, I thought I’d share some of the questions she had about her new pinterest account and some of the answers I gave her. Her products are bathroom & kitchen sinks and taps.
What boards should I set up? Should I just call them Kitchen Sinks, Bathroom Taps?
Yes, you can certainly include those boards for the specific product seeker. However, remember to include quirky or different kitchen sinks along with your own pins to those boards too. Don’t concentrate on self-promoting.
I’d also suggest setting up boards for the various Kitchen types or styles. For example, contemporary kitchens, classic kitchens, country kitchens, white kitchens, small kitchens etc. If you are selling a product for kitchens, be on the lookout for striking or pretty kitchen images and share them with your followers which will demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for your product. You can then include some of your own images as well.
I see you have a ‘Gardens’ board but you don’t have any products for gardens. Why do you have a board for it?
Partly because I like gardening and to me, pinterest is about showing the ‘whole you’ and showing your interests too. It’s not just about the product, it is about showing the lifestyle too. If your target audience were those who wanted ‘country kitchens’, then including boards of cute farmyard animals and country scenes wouldn’t go amiss. I actually did slip one product picture into that board the other day as it was photographed in a pretty garden but generally, that board is just for fun and for sharing.
Hubspot recently flagged Oreck, a vacuum cleaning brand, as a great example of how to use images other than the actual vacuum cleaners, to entice pinners to follow and people to engage and buy. While it also has product boards, it also had a board called ‘furry friends’ emphasising subtly of course, that their products can deal with all the dog hairs that pets leave on your sofa. It’s ‘Stunning floors’ board connotes that your floors can be just as stunning by using their products and of course, all the floors are stunning.
How will people come to my website from my pins?
All the photos pinned from your website or blog are traceable back to their originial source so no matter how many times they are repinned, if someone clicks on them, they will be brought to where you pinned it from.
It is a good idea to have a ‘pin it’ button on your blog or on your product pages so that it is easier for visitors to your site to pin the photos (and it reminds them to do so too).
How do I merge my products with those of other pinners? Will they stand out like a sore thumb?
The cut-out photos of the taps, for example, will look like product shots so yes, it will be evident that they are your products. My tip is to pin them little and often, that is, don’t pin ten photos of taps from your website in one go. Write a clear description for the taps including a benefit for the user or why that tap is perfect for a country kitchen especially if you are pinning it to the ‘Country Kitchens’ board.
How often should I pin?
Little and often. If you are pinning lots, then ensure that they are of different types of photos and for different boards. There is nothing more off-putting than going to my pinterest account and seeing the page almost full of similar pins from a single pinner. Don’t pin too often to your facebook profile and take care of pinning too often if sending them out as tweets too. Pinerly will soon have a scheduling option which will be a really handy tool.
How long should the description be?
Pinterest allows up to 500 characters but unless you wish to include a tutorial, I think up to 150 characters is sufficient. Ensure that you are including keywords that are likely to be searched for and if you wish, do include a price. At the moment, only the £ and $ signs display across the front of the pin (not the €) but research suggests that pins with prices displayed receive more click throughs. Remember to include a ‘benefit’ for the customer or a tip on how it can be used.
I tried to link my Pinterest account to my Facebook business page but it wouldn’t work. Why not?
At present, there is only the facility to link pinterest to your personal profile on facebook.
How can I get more followers?
Here’s 5 suggestions for getting more followers on pinterest:
- It is a case of following other pinners and seeing it they follow you back. By repinning pins you like, this can generate follows too. Don’t rush to follow people – take some time to build up a good portfolio of boards and pins first. Check out our post on why you should set the covers of each board so that they look more attractive.
- If you have your pinterest account in sync with twitter and facebook, you will be able to see which of your facebook friends are using pinterest and they will be flagged up for you to follow.
- Find others that have a similar interest to yours. Check out Pinerly which flags up suggested pinners to follow under the various categories (if you need an invite to Pinerly, just ask us for one in the comment box).
- When you look at a person’s profile on pinterest, you will also see 3 people they have repinned from so it is likely that those pinners follow a similar theme – this can be a handy way of finding new people to follow too.
- Look at the most popular or the trending pins and boards on Repinly – if they fit in with your style, pin images that are similar to them.
How do I build up a relationship with followers? I remember being told that twitter is about relationship building and having conversations. Is pinterest similar?
Yes and no, to be honest. About 80% of the pins on Pinterest are repins which suggests that people enjoy looking for fresh content to pin on pinterest rather than on other sites and build their relationships with others by repinning their pins if they like them. As you can see from the statistics above, we only spend 0.5% of our time on pinterest commenting so we have some way to go in terms of having conversations there.
If you have any questions on pinterest, do ask in the comment box.
At Write on Track, we offer training on pinterest as well as showing business owners how to blog more effectively for their business so do get in touch if you would like to book a consultation or a training session.
Did you know that you can select the image for the dominant space on your pinterest boards? You might be asking why would you want to do that when it already shows your most recent image?
Well, as you can see in the screengrab below, that doesn’t necessarily show off your board or your pin to its best advantage.
The ‘Boy’s Bedroom’ board shows a guitar cushion as its main image but as it only displays part of the picture, it really isn’t possible to see what it is. It would be more appropriate to display a picture that makes it clear it is a product for a boy’s bedroom or show an image of a boy’s bedroom. I’ve chosen to select an image of dinosaur wall stickers (see below) as this is a product I stock and it clearly shows it is a bedroom for a young boy.
As you can see from all the boards above, none of them are shown off to their best advantage and not only does this affect the repinning statistics by potential new followers but it can also affect their decision regarding whether to follow you or your individual boards. All the ‘bookcases’ board needed was a re-alignment of the photograph.
How to set a photograph for your board cover:
- Select the ‘boards’ option in the drop down mention under your name (top right hand corner).
- Hover the mouse over the board and ‘edit board cover’ pops up.
- Click on it and a box will open showing the current photo that is in the board cover (usually your most recent pin unless you have pre-set your board covers)
- You can then scroll across until you find the image you like, you can adjust it and then click ‘Set cover’
- As you can see from the screengrab above, the photographs have been adjusted so that the ‘best’ part of the pin is on display.
Just as we recommend you to move your boards around occasionally, we also recommend that you set your board covers and change them periodically.
I am speaking on the topic of ‘Pinterest for Bloggers’ at the KLCK Bloggers Meeting this coming Monday in Kilkenny. More details here if you would like to come along. If you can’t make it in person, do follow the hashtag #klck on twitter from 7:30pm