How to Create a Viral Pinterest Pin
Anyone who frequently uses Pinterest for personal use, or to promote their own work, knows the value of a visually appealing pin. Even if you’re not looking for a great work planner or a recipe for beef bourguignon, there is no resisting a beautiful pin. If you’d like to increase your pin views, and especially repins, there is almost an exact science to the business.
Take these tips to make your pins the most pinned on Pinterest.
You’ve got your image selected and ready to pin, but before posting it to Pinterest let’s focus on the quality of the image. Vertical (wider across rather than longer in height) images are more appealing, as they indicate a professional photographic formatting. Pinners are drawn to images that they couldn’t necessarily snap with their own camera.
Pinterest tends to distort or resize photos that fall out of their ideal image ratio: 2:3 or 4:5. Have you ever uploaded a pin and thought, “That looks horrible!”? It’s probably because the orientation is not correct, or the sizing is off. Take time to edit your photos to the right size and quality to ensure more pins.
More on sizing for different pictures on Pinterest:
Profile Picture: This is a very important picture to have if you are hoping to create a great following on Pinterest. Focus on images that are 600×600 pixels, and you can resize them down easily.
Enlarged Pin: Congratulations, someone opened your pin! Now to get the full visual impact, make sure the image resizes to 735 pixels wide, and the height is adjusted per the picture. Anything below 735 pixels will be distorted and less professional looking.
Boards: When you want people to follow an entire board, draw them in using a well-placed pin. When they get to your board, make sure your board is visually appealing and organized as well. For the board cover (the largest image on the board), make sure the image fits neatly into a 217 x 147 pixel area. If it doesn’t fit in that area, the image will exceed the box size, and will not be nearly as clear. For the board thumbnails (underneath the board cover) use 51 x 51 pixels. This may be hard to do, so find images that can be resized to this area.
Website Images: The Holy Grail of Pinterest: Someone found your website, and wants to pin an image or an article or what-have-you from your site. They create their own pin (yay!), and select an image to use. If you have great photos with the right sizing on your website, they will have a number to choose from. If you don’t, they’ll be lucky to get one image that is pixelated or doesn’t fit quite right.
Vertical images i.e. images that are wider across rather than longer in height have been found to be more appealing, indicate a professional photographic formatting and receive more views on the Pinterest Smart feed.In fact, Pinterest partners Curalate recently released stats that showed these images between 2:3 and 4:5 aspect get 60% more Repins than very tall images.
“Images between 2:3 and 4:5 aspect get 60% more Repins”
This Paula Deen recipe image for cucumber, tomato, and onion salad, contains all the elements for a Perfect Pinterest PIN. It has been repinned 307,000 times.
Now that we’ve exhausted the image sizing topics, let’s focus on the actual subject of your photos. After all, a great pin is nothing without the image!
Rule 1: No Faces
First off, it is important to note that faces do not get pinned as much as “things,” or inanimate objects. While this may surprise you, there is also sound logic behind this. It’s easier to see a beautiful masterpiece as your own when another person isn’t involved in the image. “I could make that,” or “I’d love to be there”- you get the idea. When you place a person in the image, it takes away from the pinner’s ability to relate. Thus, Rule #1 is no faces.
Rule 2: Little background
Now that we’ve established the no-faces rule, let’s focus on the rest of the photo. Make sure the subject of the photo is the main focus; do not have a whole bunch going on in the background. The background should be fitting to the pin, like food on a table, or paint on paper, hair on a cat… Hopefully you get the idea. Try not to use stock background images, as this distracts and makes it look less professional. When in doubt, use a plain white background or a little set-up that allows you to change the color using lights.
Rule 3: Moderate light and color
Speaking of lights, focus on being mediocre. Do not flood your picture with light, and do not make it too dark. Ensuring a 50% saturation in your photos (use a photo editing software to configure this) will let you get the most possible repins for your effort. Natural lighting is generally best, as it is more appealing to the eye when scrolling through canned photo after canned photo.
Rule 4: Color is Important
Focus on the colors and accents of your photo. If you’re taking of a photo of your backyard, a recipe you just tried, a notebook you just purchased, or even cosmetics or something you’re selling, focus on making color the attraction.
If you use an all-white background, use accent colors to draw in the eye. White with a pop color is visually striking.
Rule 5: If in doubt go Red
Also, photos that use red or orange in their photos attract more traffic and repins than pins without those colors. Think of how a cop pulls over the brightly colored cars more than the nondescript tan sedans (who are always speeding)- it’s the same idea.
You may be thinking, “Geez, images aren’t THAT important, it’s the idea behind the pin.”
Well, you’re wrong. Dead wrong.
Multiple data analyses of viral pins have shown that the image itself is what gets passed around, not the content. If you’re hoping that your cruddy photo with a great article attached to it will get pinned, it surely will. But if you have a great photo with all the right dimensions and aspects, and great content behind it…
Well, you’re nearly unstoppable.