As Pinterest points out in their article Three ways to improve your pins, “Just one Pin can give people a glimpse into what makes your business special, so you want to make sure you’re making an impression.” And the advice Pinterest provides in this short article applies equally to your website and any of your social networks.

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Pinterest points out, essentially, that when visitors view your content online, whether in a social network news feed, in search results or on your website, “they make a snap judgment about whether they want to click further or repin” or, in the case of a post on another social network or your website, whether they want to share your content further.

Clicking on something you have posted on a social network may send traffic back to your website, if you have a link back to an article, page or product on your website. Or, it may result in your content being shared more broadly when people repin it, share it, tweet it, like it, etc. Ideally you want to drive traffic back to your website by including a link that people can click on (to the relevant blog article, page or product) and repin, share, tweet and like, to get your content in front of a broader group of people.

In the case of Pinterest, they “studied thousands of Pins to figure out which ones get the most traction” and they share three common elements that jumped out. These three elements are listed below, verbatim.

As you read these, consider how these elements might relate to your website or social network(s).

Vertical Pins work better

Pins with a vertical aspect ratio flow better with the Pinterest experience. That’s because Pinterest organizes images vertically, stacked one on top of another in a grid. Also, most people use Pinterest on their mobile phones, so vertical Pins just look better than horizontal ones.

Longer descriptions outperform shorter ones

There’s a lot  said about the visual nature of Pinterest, but it’s also a service that people use to plan their lives. The Pin description is an important spot to explain how that Pin can help someone pursue their interests. On other sites, short copy works because you’re competing for attention. But with Pinterest, it’s more effective to write thoughtful, useful descriptions. You don’t need to max out on our character limits, but feel free to add details where it makes sense. (Bonus: these descriptions help your Pins show up in search results!)

Positive, aspirational messages resonate

Descriptions that talk about a Pin and its value work better than straight explanations. Instead of saying “We’re selling this blue sweater” or “Make this chicken parmesan recipe,” imagine yourself as a Pinner. Try talking about how the sweater fits in perfectly with a spring wardrobe or how a busy parent can make the chicken parmesan recipe in under 30 minutes with just a few ingredients.

In my opinion, Pinterest is one of the best of the top social networks when it comes to finding help and information for setting up your account and maintaining it – they make it easy!

While not every business may be a perfect fit for Pinterest, there are many businesses that would benefit from this social network. We tend to think of Pinterest as a place for crafters, home decorators, retail outlets, recipe providers, baby stuff, wedding planning, etc. And yet, many businesses are discovering there are hidden opportunities in Pinterest. Don’t assume Pinterest is only for businesses that target women or stay at home moms. It isn’t! Check it out for yourself to see if Pinterest might be a good fit for your business.

To read the full article “Three ways to improve your Pins” on Pinterest click here.