There are so many marketing options for your photography business, it can be difficult to choose which are right for you. Here’s how to test Pinterest and find out if it is right for you.
Below are the simplest steps to test Pinterest. In no way is this a complete guide to setting up Pinterest. Many of the ‘best practice’ steps have been removed so that this entire test can be done in less than half a day.
If you find Pinterest is a tool you want to use, you might want to take additional steps to maximise your success.
YOUR PINTEREST STRATEGY
Pinterest is a search engine. This means you need to use keywords so that you can be found in searches. You also need attractive, striking photos that have enough impact to stop people scrolling through search results or their feed and click on your pin.
Everything that we’re going to do here is either keyword related or image related. Our goal is to drive potential clients to your website.
SETTING UP YOUR PINTEREST ACCOUNT
If you don’t already have a Pinterest account, here are the instructions from Pinterest on how to do that.
SETTING UP YOUR PINTEREST PROFILE
Describe yourself using at least one keyword and a location if you want local business. Examples might be Austin wedding photographer Julia Riley or Hampshire family portrait photographer Henry Higgins.
Profile hack: if the 30 characters Pinterest allows for a profile name is not enough, download the app to your phone and edit your profile there for up to 65 characters.
Add a close-up photo of your smiling face or whoever runs the business to your profile. A photo – even a close-up selfie – wins hands down for warmth over a logo any day.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR PINTEREST BOARDS
Create six boards on relevant topics for your business onto which you can pin your photos. These might be, for an Austin eco-friendly wedding photographer: Austin wedding photography, Laguna Gloria weddings, Barr Mansion weddings, Austin wedding flowers and Green weddings in Austin.
For Hampshire family portrait photographer Henry Higgins, these might be: Hampshire family photo locations, Hampshire children’s portrait inspiration, What to wear for autumn family portraits, How to hang family wall portraits, Hampshire baby photographer and Hampshire family portraits.
On each of the boards, describe in at least two sentences what that board is about, using as many relevant keywords as possible. For Green weddings in Austin, this could be: “Austin’s best eco-friendly wedding suppliers and ideas for how to plan a green wedding. Have a more sustainable wedding day with inspiration for environmentally friendly venues, favours and wedding dress.
For Hampshire family portraits, you might write: Hampshire family portraits including baby photos, cake smash ideas, toddler portraits and three-generational photography. If you’re thinking of professional family photos in Basingstoke, Winchester or Andover, have a look at our family portraits.
Board description hack: If you need keyword or description inspiration, search Pinterest for your main terms, but NOT your location. This will give you some of the strongest keywords on Pinterest and avoid you being too similar to your local competition.
If you have existing boards on subjects not related to your business, either delete them or make them secret, so only you and others sharing the board can see them.
HOW TO CREATE STRIKING PINS FOR PINTEREST
Your pins need to be a single vertical image in a 2:3 ratio. Avoid collages – they don’t have as much impact. Choose photos that are easy to understand and have simple messaging such as a loved up bride and groom or cute child cuddling their parent.
A note for those of you grumpy about simple, single, vertical images, I hear you. When I shot weddings, 90% of my photos were horizontal, storytelling photos and my favourites were those that had layers of storytelling or something else interesting visually.
Pinterest is not the best place for these, sorry. It can be amazing, though, for strong emotional images and high contrast photos.
Vertical is best because it takes up the maximum amount of space for a single pin on either a desktop screen or phone. And that maximises the chances of someone stopping on your pin and clicking through to your website or repinning your photo to one of their boards.
You can take a vertical crop out of a horizontal photo for your pin that links back to your horizontal photo. If vertical absolutely won’t work, you can go square.
FILLING YOUR PINTEREST BOARDS
You’re going to add at least 10 pins to each of your six boards, linking through to content on your website/blog. Exactly how you do this is going to depend on your workflow and how you store your photos.
We’re then going to create another 90 pins which are going to get pinned to your boards over the coming month using a Pinterest scheduler free trial
Let’s start with the example of the Austin wedding photographer and her Barr Mansion weddings board. Let’s say she had shot two weddings at Barr Mansion and has one blog post on each. Given that she wants to create 150 pins overall (60 on the original six boards and another 90 scheduled), she might choose 25 Barr Mansion photos for that board (one sixth of the total pins).
She would go to her set of original files for the first wedding and scroll through quickly in something like Lightroom or Photomechanic and pull out six or seven that catch her eye for the board.
She would import them into Lightroom, crop all into a 2:3 ratio vertical photo, add a logo if she wants and export into a Pinterest pin folder.
Once done, she would go to Pinterest and select the Barr Mansion board and click on the plus button to create a new pin. She’ll be asked for an image, so uploads her first photo from her pin folder, adds a description and URL for that blog post and pins to the board. Repeat for the rest of the blog post pins and second Barr Mansion blog post.
That process is repeated for the remainder of the boards, adding only 10 pins to each board. The remaining 90 pins are going to be scheduled.
TOP TIP: As tempting as it can be to pin your main website address to your pins, you want to add the relevant post or page URL so that your visitors get exactly what they were expecting when they clicked through.
CUP OF TEA/COFFEE TIME
When you’ve created your 150 pins and your boards are looking abundant, time for a coffee or tea and congratulate yourself for having done all that marvellous work. You have a Pinterest profile to be proud of.
Next up, you’re going to schedule out pins for a month, because Pinterest likes content creators like you to be active. It isn’t enough for you to drop a few pins and run away for a few months.
But there are schedulers available that mean you ‘can’ do that. They will pin on your behalf.
For this exercise, sign up to Tailwind’s free trial of 100 pins via the green button on the top right hand side and connect your account. You’re going to schedule out three pins a day for a month.
Tailwind explains how to schedule pins here.
HOW TO TEST PINTEREST: THE DATA
Once you’re set up, keep an eye on how much traffic you’re getting from Pinterest. You can find this in your Google Analytics under Acquisition / Social. It can take some time for pins to build traffic, so it can be most useful to look for trends rather than absolute numbers.
Check whether your traffic from Pinterest is increasing, decreasing or remaining steady. If it starts increasing, there’s a strong case for you adding Pinterest to your weekly or monthly marketing.