Social media platforms come in a wide variety of flavours, and no other social media network is a better example of this than the second one that we will discuss in our coverage of social media as a channel for viral content, like Pinterest. Pinterest is a unique social media network that was born in December 2009. What makes it different from the rest of its counterparts in the social media landscape is that it does not rely on timelines and updates to engage users.
Instead, it works as a photo-sharing application, breaking with the standard way in which most social networks operate. Being a photo-sharing application channelling the features of a social network, timelines and updates are presented as “pins”. Users “pin” content such as images and videos on the feed to be checked and shared by others.
When looked at closely, Pinterest resembles a classic pinboard, in which people pin stuff for others to check, hence the “pin” part of the name.
What makes Pinterest great for viral content?
Pinterest is often considered to be a niche centric social network, because it mostly attracts a specific set of people. With an audience that is 60% women and 50% parents, it doesn’t make it less ideal for going wildly viral. That’s precisely why you have an audience that is heavy on busy users, and you’re more likely to get views and shares for your content.
Why? Much like people on Facebook, Pinterest users tend to rapidly glance over content when they have a chance to check their feeds. When they see something catchy, they’ll share it. You can consider that a share on Pinterest is a piece of time invested by users, and your viral content must be high quality and worth its salt. Not convinced yet?
Here are some Pinterest facts:
- 88% of people purchase products that they pin on Pinterest!
- 49% of people buy an average of 5 of the total number of products they pin on Pinterest!
- 88% of Pinterest users access the network from a mobile device, which increase the chances of your content being shared!
Create an Amazing Pinboard
To succeed on Pinterest, you’ll have to create a pinboard that is outstanding enough that people will have no choice but to follow it. The number one attribute that you should be aware of when creating your Pinterest pinboard is simplicity. The goal is to simplify navigation on it, so your users will make your content more accessible and easier to share.
Remember, your pinboard is where your content will be displayed. Think of it as your Facebook wall, but instead of it being organized as a timeline, it is organized as a content menu dashboard. Let’s start with the basics and get yours created.
First, go to your profile.
There, you’ll see the option to create a board, that is, a pinboard for your content. Click on “create board”. The idea here is to create boards that you can separate into categories for each of your viral posts. For example, if several of your viral posts are news related, you have to create a board for news. If some of your posts are sports related, you have to create a separate board for sports, and so on for each category.
It’s better to create separate boards for different categories to simplify navigation in your profile, because posts from one category will overtake space on a single board leaving posts from other categories underperforming. Also, if your content is scattered throughout several uncategorized pins, your boards will look disorganized and your visitors will feel overwhelmed and leave.
For the sake of this article, we will create a board for the “foods” category. Note that the category of your boards will be mostly reflected in their names, so name them accordingly. Write a brief descripti0n, choose a category, select whether you want to make your board secret or not, and select people to collaborate with your board through email or from your contacts, then click on “create”.
Let’s quickly create another one to demonstrate how your profile should look with differently categorized boards. As you can see, your boards look empty. That’s because you have not added anything to them yet, which leads us to the next step: adding viral pins to your boards.
Start by clicking on the “plus” button in the lower corner on the right. You can upload pins by choosing a photo from your computer or by saving content from an external website. Most of your pins will be viral posts from your website, so the option that you’ll use most is the “save from a website” option.
Simply click on the “save from a website” button, and have the URL of your viral post ready to paste it in the “save from a website” field. Once you paste it, click on “next”, and on the following page click on “save”. Before your content is pinned, chose on which board you’ll pin it, and add a little description to it.
Remember, this description needs to follow the same guidelines mentioned in the Facebook article for viral posts: Brief headline, personal question and call to action. Ok, so now that you have your viral content on Pinterest, how do you make it actually go viral? This is pretty simple. In Pinterest, you have to find who is consuming the same type of content that you are making viral.
Go to the search bar on top, and enter a keyword related to your viral content. In the results page, click on the “people” tab. A list of people will be displayed. These people are who you want seeing and sharing your content to make it viral on pinterest. What you have to do now is start following them. When you follow them, they will receive a notification.
The vast majority of them will follow that notification through and will check your profile and your content. Once they check your content and see that it is related to their interests, they will follow you back and start sharing your content! That is how you obtain pinterest leads and shares for free!
Follow these guidelines to the letter, and you’ll soon become a Pinterest viral star!