Optimising content for Pinterest and Instagram

Popular social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, practically throw data at you: the number of followers, likes and retweets allows users to understand how effective their posts or social marketing campaign has been. However for other sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, it can be harder analysing the reach and effectiveness of the posts, unless of course, it gets shared, liked and ends up on the popular pages of each site. And because Pinterest and Instgram are relatively new social media sites, there isn’t as much data and published analysis available.

To help you out, here are 8 pieces of data that will improve your social media presence.

1. On Pinterest, use long images

Across the web, tall long images are easier to read, because it’s easier to scroll vertically than it is to scroll horizontally. The same applies on Pinterest. When you’re on your Pinterest dashboard, it may seem silly that all the pictures are long and thin, but when you view one properly, it will be easier to read, and you only need to scroll with one finger.

These pins usually have more content, and tend to get more repins than shorter images. Data has shown that the more pixels in an image, the more repins it will achieve.

2. Keep your description between 100 and 200 characters

Both Pinterest and Instagram allow the user to insert text such as descriptions or captions to provide the viewer with more information. The text is helpful from an SEO perspective and for users who have discovered your page.

On Pinterest, data has shown that the optimal length of a description is between 100 and 200 characters, around the same length of a Tweet. It may seem silly that descriptions matter on a visual sharing site; however, they will increase engagement.

3. Use hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags allow your picture to be discovered, as other users search for specific words or phrases. Posts that include hashtags will usually have more likes, than those without hashtags. A warning: don’t go overboard on the hashtags – unless you want to lose followers.

4. Use popular hashtags

The most popular hashtags on Instagram are “#FollowForFollow,” “#LikeForLike,” “#F4F,” and “#L4L” which relates to the social aspect of the site. These hashtags may bring you new followers, but it isn’t clear if they are good quality.

Other popular hashtags include “#Sky,” #Clouds,” “#Sunset,” and “#Sun”. Try and find a way to relate these hashtags with your content to find followers and encourage more ‘Likes’.

5. Post images that will appeal to everyone

On the theme of Hashtags, it is useful to know which are not performing well on either site. Poor performing hashtags include “#BestFriends,” “#LoveHer,” and “#Drunk”, when you look at the like-to-follower ratio.

Imagine viewing an image taken by a stranger and tagged with these hashtags – they wouldn’t be interesting to you. However, as you can see from point 4, pictures that are tagged with nature hashtags will appeal to everyone.

6. Create images that inspire

On Pinterest, the most popular words that are pinned include ‘love’, ‘favourite’ and ‘like’. This shows the poster has some form of emotional attachment to the image.  Other popular words include ‘home’, ‘DIY’ and ‘Inspiration’, showing that the user wants to buy something, do something or create.

7. Think about your end goals

When you upload an image, what is the aim? Are you looking to start a discussion, get more ‘likes’ or bump up your follower numbers? This goal should be in mind before you post your image.

Users will normally comment on an image to get involved in a discussion on a specific topic, but may be unlikely to share with their own followers, due to the controversial or disagreeable content. Data shows that those images that receive a high number of comments, don’t receive a high number of likes or repins.


Pic source: Touch Stone Research

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