What you’ve been doing for a while or even been taught recently about Pinterest may not work today. Big changes could mean that your pin is cut off or your best pins aren’t even seen — if you don’t know the Pinterest 2018 rules.
Sarah Hoople Shere, Product Marketing Manager at Pinterest, was interviewed by Alisa Meredith, Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind. The answers Sarah gave may surprise you!
I pulled out the top 7 ideas from the interview, the things you must know to succeed on Pinterest in 2018.
Pinterest has made quite a few changes that may have you making changes to how you use Pinterest for your business.
Important: Pinterest is recommending creators (read: business account pinners) to follow. They’re matchmaking between creators and pinners. To be considered for this you have to do three things:
Save pins regularly. Pinterest’s favorite pins are those that link back to your own website.
Have a business account.
Claim your website.
Now, here are my top 7 takeaways from the interview. If you watch the interview, please note that Pinterest dropped the first five pins of the day rule.
1. Image sizes have changed!
Vertical still performs best. But the popular long, skinny pins don’t work anymore. (If you’re still finding that they do, that’s about to change as they phase in the new rules.)
A 2:3 ratio is the recommended maximum ratio — or lower. I’m not a math person, so a ratio doesn’t make sense to me. I figured it out! (I’m pretty excited about that!)
A common Pinterest size with the new ratio is 600 x 900. Let’s break it down to show why that works well with the new rules.
Divide the 600 by 2. That gives you 300.
Now you can work out the 2:3 ratio.
300 x 2 = 600.
300 x 3 = 900.
That’s the 2 and the 3.
It’s easy to see here when you start with 100 as the 1:
Breathe a big sigh of relief. I did.
The height should be 1.5 times the width. I’m sure there’s a formula for that, but my way works.
Canva’s pre-made Pinterest size is 735 x 1102. This is also okay. Half of 735 is 367.50. Multiplied by 2 you get 735, by 3 you get 1102.50. It’s almost exactly 2:3. (Canva beginners can learn more here. Canva pro tips are here.)
If you go much taller than the 2:3 ratio you may see your pins cut off. Sarah said they may not even show a pin if it’s too long.
2. Be Consistent
Don’t do 25 pins on Monday and nothing else until Saturday. Consistency matters. Five pins every day would be better. I’ve noticed the importance of being consistent with growing my ranking.
3. The Follow tab is back
Yay! This is a great addition to the Pinterest 2018 rules. People who choose to follow you want to see what you’re pinning. This connects to #2 above because the first 5 pins go to your followers in near real-time if they’re online then. Even if they aren’t online when you pin but visit Pinterest hours later, those first 5 will be the first pins they see from you that day.
4. Pinterest’s midnight is important
Their day begins at midnight UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) or GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). They’re the same time. That would be 7pm Central time U.S.
This is the start of the day, so pin those 5 awesome pins after the start of the new day, not mid-afternoon when you also pinned during that same day. Then move to the next most important pins.
Otherwise, Sarah said that the time of day you pin doesn’t matter.
5. Pinterest loves fresh content
Fresh could mean pinning to a new blog post or a brand new image to an older blog post. Notice the word new.
And they prioritize pins created by the owner of the website vs. those saved by someone else.
You can repin the same image again, but make sure the pin has a unique description. They want businesses to keep the pinner’s experience in mind. Five pins of the same exact image within a week or even a month could be annoying to see.
Also, the pin has to link to a landing page that matches the description of the pin. The pin doesn’t have to be an exact match to one on the landing page though.
6. Keywords Matter
Use a variety of keywords in your pin’s description. A recipe for chocolate cake might mention keywords like easy dessert, chocolate lovers, dessert for company and best chocolate cake. AND you need to carefully choose the keywords in board descriptions. (Oops! I hadn’t done that.)
7. Hashtags Matter Too
Pins with hashtags get significantly more distribution the first day the pin is posted. You can add up to 20 hashtags. Pinners can search by hashtag and click on hashtags in your description. Quality over quantity is best though.
Hashtags are for new content. Don’t add them to an old pin.
What is your biggest surprise from the interview? Are you making any changes in how you use Pinterest?
If you have 84 minutes, I highly recommend watching this interview. These Pinterest 2018 rules are a game-changer. Here it is on YouTube.