Your Pins

Time to talk about the heart and soul of Pinterest: pins.

There is nothing fancy here. If you pin awesome images, you can receive some awesome results. Pin nothing but low-quality pins and you’ll receive low-quality results.

When it comes to pinning to your Pinterest account there are two options that you have:

  1. Pin absolutely every pin that falls under your (or your blog’s) interests
  2. Carefully curate the pins you pin

While it is possible to do well with #1, the best results I’ve seen for me and other Pinterest users is when they go with option #2.

Consider a pin like your blog’s design. The first impression makes a huge difference. Your audience doesn’t want to click on terrible looking pins because their impression is that the content will be terrible as well.

Also consider how bad pins look for your own account.

If you continue to pin bad pins, how does that look on you? You don’t write garbage on your site and you should follow that policy no matter where your brand is located.

For Obstacle.co’s Pinterest account I have two criteria for a pin and whether or not it will make it onto one of my boards:

  1. The pin has to look good. Now this is subjective, but if you look across the pins on Obstacle.co’s Pinterest account, you’ll notice there is a certain level of quality expected of them from a design perspective.
  2. The content has to be good. There are a lot of great looking pins that will send you to content that only goes 3 paragraphs deep. This type of content doesn’t benefit my audience and I have no intention of wasting their time.

When you follow Obstacle.co on Pinterest it is my obligation to only pin content that will benefit you. It’s the same policy when you subscribe to the Obstacle.co mailing list.

The principles used for your brand on your blog need to be applied to everywhere that your brand is located.

No exceptions.

Of course pinning other people’s pins is just one part of Pinterest. The reason you want to get the most out of Pinterest is to help your blog grow and for that to happen you need to pin your own content.

So how do you ensure you are creating quality pins for your blog?

The Science of the Perfect Pin

I’m going to start this section with a warning. Every niche is different. The perfect pin doesn’t truly exist, but some pin designs are definitely better than others. What you need to do is experiment with different designs to see which ones work best for you.

With that being said…

In 2014, Curalate did research on over 500,000 images posted by brands to Pinterest. They took note of over 30 different features that were evaluated.

These features included:

  • faces
  • texture
  • hue
  • saturation
  • lightness
  • brightness
  • aspect ratio

They then correlated each of these features with Pinterest’s social cues: like, repins, and comments.

The results were meant to show what makes the perfect pin.

Color

Images that are reddish-orange get roughly twice as many repins than images that are blue.

People are more like to repin strawberries over blueberries. This is something to keep in mind if your blog is in a niche that excels with photographs like food or fashion.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid blue altogether, but if you had the choice between the two you might want to lean towards red.

Number of Colors

Images with multiple dominant colors have 3.25 times more repins than single dominant color images

Black on white isn’t going to do as well as orange, green, red and black on white.

Lightness

Images with medium lightness are repinned 20 times more than very dark images

Nobody wants to feel like they are trapped in a dark room.

Saturation

Images that are 50% saturated have 10 times more repins than very desaturated images

What does this mean? It just means that images that are more washed out have a lesser chance of getting repins.

Bright is better than dull.

Aspect Ratio

Vertical images with an aspect ratio between 2:3 and 4:5 get 60% more repins than very tall images.

This one might seem complicated but it really isn’t. We will dive deeper into this one when we talk about what size your Pinterest images should be.

Background

Images with < 10% background receive 2-4 times more repins than images with > 40% background.

This one took me a second to wrap my head around, but the idea is that images with just a plain solid background don’t perform as well than ones with objects in the background.

Texture

Images with a smooth texture are repinned 17 times more than images with a rough texture

Faces

Brand images without faces receive 23% more repins than images with faces.

I guess people only like to see their own faces in pictures.

Guidelines, Not Rules

I was reluctant to share these results because it can be easy to take them as rules written in stones. They are merely guidelines.

If you want to include a face in an image because you believe it makes it look better then by all means include the face!

It’s important you also keep in mind the type of industry you are in. For example, with Obstacle.co, most of the pins revolve around blogging so what type of background doesn’t play as huge as a role as it would if the blog was about cooking or fashion.

The Right Pin Size

2:3.

That’s the ratio you want to aim for with your pins. Instead of jumping into the math behind the perfect pin size let’s just state the size you should aim for.

Guide to Pinterest

You don’t need to use those dimensions, but going with all of the math that Pinterest suggests shows that this is the best Pinterest pin size.

The 2:3 ratio is the width vs the height. As you can see you always want your pins to be taller than they are wider. Vertical pins always do best on Pinterest due to the nature of its layout.

Vertical pins take up more space and therefore can draw the attention of the eye better. If your pin is an infographic or you want to get more food images in it, then you can always go taller than 1102, but in general if you stick with 735×1102 then you will be good to go.