Having a pin go viral on Pinterest isn’t as hard as you might think! It’s much easier than going viral on Facebook or Instagram because the Pinterest algorithm doesn’t care about the amount of followers you have. Its structured in a way to show pinners exactly what they’re looking for. If a pinner is looking for information on a topic you’ve pinned about, and your account is properly optimized, it’s likely your pin will be displayed in the search feed of that user.
While there’s no guaranteed winning formula to make your pins go viral on Pinterest, there are definitely things you can do to increase your chances. In this post, I’ll be sharing my top 10 tips to help your pins to go viral on Pinterest.
1. Size Matters
First things first – we need to make sure Pinterest is happy so they show our pins to as many people as possible. How do we do this? Simple – we listen to what they tell us. Pinterest has come out and told us time and time again that they favor vertical images and recommend you create pins with a 2:3 ratio. So the best thing to do is give them what they want. When I create pins for myself and my clients, I find 1000 x 1500px works best. You can go higher or lower if you want, but I wouldn’t go any lower than 600px x 900px to ensure a good image quality for your pin.
2. Let’s talk color
A technology company called Curalate did a study where they examined over 500,000 pins posted from brands to Pinterest. In this study, they examined a number of pin image aspects and how they correlated with engagement on the Pinterest platform. They found that color actually plays a huge role when creating a pin you want to go viral on Pinterest – pins with a medium lightness are pinned a whopping 20 times more than pins that are really dark and 8 times more than pins that are mostly white. I think that pretty much speaks for itself. If you want the best chance of going viral on Pinterest, find a good middle ground between light and dark when designing your pins.
3. The Importance of a Quality Image
If you are using a photograph on your pin, you want to make sure that photo is high quality. Pinterest knows when you’re not using a high quality photo with good resolution and as a result they’re not going to show your pins to as many people. If you don’t take your own photos there are tons of stock photography websites to use that are both free and paid. Some of my favorite free websites are:
What to Consider When Choosing Your Photo
Aside from the quality of the photo, there’s a few things you might want to take into consideration when choosing a photo for your pin. Going back to this study by Curlate, they found that pictures without faces got pinned 23 times more than pictures with faces. Why is this the case? It makes it easier for the pinner to envision themselves using a product or doing an activity themselves if there isn’t already someone else’s face associated with the image.
You also want to take into consideration the background of the photograph you choose… this tip is more so for e-commerce sellers. Images with less than 10% blank background are pinned 2 – 4 times more than images with over 40% blank background. So, for example if you’re trying to sell a pillow, your pin will do much better if you use a photo of the pillow on a couch in a living room, than it will by using just the product image of the pillow on a white background. If you’re in ecommerce, it’s important to note that lifestyle images showing your product in use do better overall than singular product images.
Use Text Overlay To Encourage Engagement
Using text overlay is a great way to encourage engagement on your pin and help it go viral! Not only will it encourage engagement but it will help Pinterest understand what your pin is about and show it to the right people. Yup, Pinterest can actually read the text on your pin. It’s important that the text used on your pin is attention grabbing so your pin stands out among the hundreds of other pins in the search feed. If someone sees your pin while scrolling on Pinterest and takes interest, what will they get if they click through to your site? It’s best to put exactly what the pinner is going to get in your headline but spice it up and make them excited to click through by using descriptive words like “amazing” “the best” or one of my favorite words of all time “free.” As humans we love a good deal and it doesn’t get any better than free! Am I right?
85% of pinners use the Pinterest mobile app, so if you want to get more clicks on your pins, it’s important that pinners can read the text quickly and clearly while scrolling on their mobile devices. Use clear, easy to read fonts, make them big and bold, and avoid script fonts. If you really want to use a script font, be sure to avoid using it on the main keywords on your text overlay.
Good SEO (search engine optimization)
Pinterest shouldn’t really be classified as social media, it’s actually a visual search engine, more similar to google than it is Instagram or Facebook. Creating a pretty pin design is definitely an important piece of the viral pin puzzle but your pin can’t go viral if it’s not showing up in search results. If you want your pin to be found and seen by people on Pinterest, you have to tell Pinterest what it’s about. Strategically using keywords is the way to go. Without keywords, your pins and profile will sit there looking pretty with little to no traffic to show for it. To get the best results on Pinterest, put keywords anywhere you can add text – this includes text overlay on your pin design, pin descriptions, board descriptions, etc. Don’t leave these spaces blank. Avoid keyword stuffing and try to make your descriptions conversational.
Keep Your Content Evergreen
Unlike Facebook and Instagram, where your content lives and dies in 24 hours or less, Pinterest pins can live on and drive traffic to your website for months or even years! That being said, if you want to keep a viral pin viral, it’s important to keep your content timeless and relevant, known in marketing terms as – evergreen. Your audience isn’t going to be attracted to or impressed by an outdated post and they definitely aren’t going to share it. If you want to keep your pins evergreen, update your posts from time to time to keep them relevant. If you’re short on time, make your popular posts the priority. An easy way to figure out what your popular posts are, is to go into Google or Pinterest analytics and see which posts are driving the most traffic to your site.
Make Your Blog Posts Pinterest-Friendly!
Optimize your blog posts to encourage people to repin your content to Pinterest by installing a “pin-it” or “save” social share button on your website. Pins pinned straight from your website, uploaded directly onto Pinterest, or scheduled from Tailwind get more priority in the Pinterest smart feed than repins on Pinterest. This also gives your Pinterest account an authority boost within the Pinterest algorithm, essentially informing Pinterest that other people think your content is valuable and they should increase the promotion of your content on other people’s smart feeds across the platform.
Expand Your Reach Using Tailwind Tribes!
If you haven’t heard of Tailwind, it’s a super awesome Pinterest scheduler that enables you to automate your pinning. With Tailwind you can sit down for an hour or two and schedule out your pins for the entire month! It also gives you some extra analytics features, but its most valuable feature, aside from scheduling pins, is Tailwind Tribes. Tailwind Tribes are groups of people that gather together in a similar niche to share each other’s content and grow each other’s reach on Pinterest. This is an awesome way to boost a pin’s virality.
There you have it! My Top 10 Tips to Help Your Pins Go Viral on Pinterest! But wait! These elements won’t get your pin to go viral all on their own, they must be paired with a stellar pin design and a solid foundation to rack in the numbers you crave to your website. So before you go, be sure to grab my Free Pinterest Quick Start Guide and I know, without a doubt, your website will be booming in no time!