It’s easy to see why businesses love Pinterest.

In addition to being one of the fastest growing social networks, Pinterest allows you to use rich visual content to drive traffic to your website, blog, or other social media properties.

This is great news if you’re looking for a new way to reach your audience and promote your business, but also comes with certain challenges.

In this post I will address two Pinterest questions that I’ve been asked by Constant Contact customers:

  1. How do you share your content if you don’t have eye-catching images on your website?
  2. How do you create pins that drive people to sites that you can’t pin from directly, like Facebook?

When you try to pin content from these types of websites, Pinterest will make a pin that contains the title of the page over a colorful square. Here’s an example – I tried to pin our calendar of marketing seminars and webinars, but there are no images on this page. This is the pin created by Pinterest:

Pinterest pin for website with no image

There are a few problems with this: The pin is not visually interesting and it won’t stand out in the Pinterest feed. You can’t edit the text that appears on the square. And the square size is not ideal for a Pinterest pin – pins should be longer and take up more real estate in the feed.

Here are some tips that can help you with these common Pinterest problems:

Try creating an image with a free design tool

CanvaPicMonkey, and Adobe Spark are three free tools you can use to design an image from scratch.

All of the tools have free backgrounds, icons and patterns you can use, and you can upload any of your own elements to use in the design.

Remember the marketing seminar and webinar calendar? I used Canva to design a pinnable image instead of using the one the Pinterest created.

I uploaded an icon and our company logo, and used Canva features to fill out the rest of the design.

Creating a pin in Canva

Next, I went to the relevant Pinterest board for this pin, and clicked the Save Pin option.

Save a pin

I uploaded my image, added the website that I want to pin, and wrote a description.

Save pin

Finally, I chose the board I want my pin to be saved to.

Choose Pinterest board

Use an uploaded image to pin to Facebook

In general, when people pin an image from a website, they use Pinterest’s Pin It button that they’ve installed on their internet browser. Unfortunately, the Pin It button doesn’t work on Facebook and Instagram content. But you can link a pin to Facebook and Instagram with an easy workaround.

First, upload an image using the Save Pin option on Pinterest and save it to a board. In this case, I used the original image that we posted on the Constant Contact Facebook page.
Facebook Post URL

Go to Facebook and click on the image post you want to drive people to. Copy the URL that appears when you click on that image.

Then, click the pencil button on your pin to edit. Paste the URL from Facebook as the source and save your changes.

Pin a Facebook post

Keep these best practices in mind

When you are uploading images to Pinterest, there are some best practices you should be using to optimize your pins.

1. Sizing

Use the right size for your Pinterest images and take advantage of the sizing Pinterest uses to display content in its news feed. A pin’s maximum width in Pinterest is 192 pixels, and there is no maximum height. Try using images that are longer than they are wide. Longer images will take up more real estate in the news feed and stand out to Pinterest users.

2. Use keywords 

Pinterest users often use Pinterest’s search feature to find pins on the topics they’re interested in. They can also look for pins with the Explore tool for desktop and Guided Search on the mobile app. This means that the keywords and hashtags you use in your pins are crucial to getting your content found on Pinterest. Take advantage of the 500 character limit description for pins, and use as many keywords as possible to describe your pin.

3. Timing and frequency

We recommend that you pin at least 5 times a day to be visible in the Pinterest news feeds of your followers. You can start by using other marketing efforts to help with this — if you’re sending emails or posting to Facebook or other social sites on the days and times when your audience online, apply those lessons to Pinterest.

Need more social media help?

Watch our free recorded webinar, You’re Social, Now What? 

Have other Pinterest questions? Post them in the comments below!