Jun 06, 2012

Pin Descriptions: The Key to Finding Your Pins

In my last Pinterest blog, I gave you the ins and outs of Pinterest feeds. In Pinterest, feeds may be dubbed “king”, but they are only a piece of getting your pins noticed on Pinterest.

The Pinterest search feature has caused frustration for many a brand pinner. Once pins are off the feed, they can seem as elusive to find as Bigfoot. However, marketers who know the tricks of the Pinterest search feature may have a leg up when it comes to their pins being found by keywords.

Pins are “searched” for by two factors: keyword inclusion and how recent the pin was pinned. And while you can’t repin the same pin over and over in order to keep it active in your followers’ feeds, you can affect how searchable the pin is. Here are a few tips to help you increase your pins’ searchability.

The pin description is arguably the second most vital part of any pin (that you want to make searchable) on Pinterest, only losing out to having a high-quality pin image. With a 500-character limit, writing a good description should cause little problem. Because Pinterest is so visual in nature, written descriptions of the pictures are key if you wish to connect your images to hobbies and interests in the larger Pinterest community.

When writing a description for your new pin, optimize the pin by adding keywords that will describe the brand. If it fits, also try to put in your brand name. So, for example, if you are a shoe store and pin a picture (and link back to) a pair of shoes on your website:

Don’t write: We love these shoes!

The only “searchable” words in this description are “love” and “shoes”. And with the number of pins that include these words, your pin has a slim chance of being found should someone search “shoes”.

Instead, write: These [Brand Name] red stilettos will take you to new heights! Available at ShoeFanatics.com.

When others repin this pin, your optimized description will automatically auto-populate in the post; if they do not change the description, then your pin will make another appearance on the Everything and Category boards as well as their board, and ultimately, their followers home feed.

While these descriptions are important, there is one more missing piece.

Did you know that like Twitter, Pinterest utilizes #hashtagged keywords? Not many do. And hashtags on Pinterest may be even more useful that on Twitter. Hashtags in or at the end of descriptions make targeted, searchable words in Pinterest posts. For example, let’s use the pin description we wrote earlier and add some hashtags.

These [Brand Name] red #stilettos will take you to new heights! Available at ShoeFanatics.com. #[Brand Name] #shoefanatics.com #shoes #fashion

Another note: Pins aren’t based on over all “relevancy” to a single search word. Instead pins are shown in the order they were pinned, with the most recent pins first. Want to be at the top of the pin boards? Post. And post frequently (but not too much). Unless you have such unique keywords that few will tag or post, don’t bank on being in the first page of results, or even in the maximum number of posts Pinterest will bring up for users.

And like Twitter, you can also @mention people in pins. If someone you follow is mentioned in a pin, it will not show up on their followers walls unless the user repins the item. Just because not everyone can see it doesn’t mean that mentions are not valuable. In the customer relationship spectrum, they can be very influential and foster customer engagement, which is always a win. So give you board followers some love and @mention them from time to time.