Pinterest is all about images, right?
Content plays an integral part in helping you gain followers and repins.
On Pinterest, users build boards around interesting categories. Keywords play a prominent part in the structure of the site.
Each board has its own name and description. In addition, users can categorize each board into a standard Pinterest category.
Think about how to organize your boards both for users and the site's internal search engine. Users will use words to search for specific pins. Unlike Google, Pinterest's search facility is fairly simple. This will undoubtedly change as the site grows, but for now, long or complex search phrases do not produce results.
Posts also have descriptions, which are important, too. Place keywords in pin descriptions to make pins searchable. Because Pinterest has a built-in share facility with both Twitter and Facebook, keywords give posts greater exposure on these sites as well.
Keywords are extremely important for categorizing pins in the Pinterest search engine. Users use words to categorize boards and posts and to search for pins. Fill out all sections thoughtfully to secure the best sharing.
Keywords help users search boards quickly so they can find the most appealing pins. Users are also able to like or follow particular words or topics, which make keywords extremely valuable.
Here are two examples of pins and keyword usage. The first uses the keywords "hotel" and "Thailand" in a fairly standard way:
The second, a pin about a new form of an elliptical bicycle, initially did not have any keywords. After someone pinned it initially, it received five repins and likes within a few minutes. However, activity on the pin quickly died down because it lacked the keywords essential to finding the pin in a search. Once someone added the words "elliptical trainer," people started to repin it again.
People repin funny things. Never underestimate the power of laughter.
Pinterest is a unique social media site where a user can look at dozens of options at once. Users like the site because it is a breath of fresh air that easily fits into about five minutes.
Humor often separates successful pins from unsuccessful ones. For example, the humorous description on the Elliptigo trainer was more important for repins than the image.
Here are screen shots of two other elliptical trainer pins with much better photos, yet they didn't repin as well as the Elliptigo pin. The humorous description seems to be more important than the image—many women can relate to saddle soreness.
The popularity of memes is another example of how to effectively use humor on Pinterest. In a sample study of 500 popular pins, more than 25 percent were memes or infographics.
Memes are one of the best ways for designers to show off their work. Pinterest memes are like handing out free, personal promotional gifts. Any designer or marketing professional can increase their value and reputation with the platform.
3. A/B tests
Because the site is growing so rapidly, it is important to constantly use A/B testing to understand how and why people share and like pins.
People most commonly use A/B testing to test conversion points and other design features on a standard website. Traffic is directed to the A or B design and this allows the designer to fine tune the nuances of the site. You can use the same method on Pinterest.
For example, here are two pins from travel sites that specialize in apartments and vacation homes.
In the ApartmentsApart.com example, the description is fairly straightforward. In the WindowsonItaly.com example, the description is chattier and mentions knowledgeable friends recommend the site. The two sites and pins are extremely similar, yet the latter got seven repins in the same amount of time the first got two.
Comments are almost as important as pin descriptions.
Comments are social facilitators in the Pinterest community. Funny and insightful comments increase followers, shares and likes.
The popular posts above clearly show that comments are important to popular pins. Comments also show you have an interest in the lives of other people. In the social media world, this is a very good thing.
One of the true enigmas of Pinterest is that lengthy and complex posts often do very well. This is partly due to Pinterest's layout.
Longer posts consume more space on the screen, which seems to make them more popular. But there is more to it than that. Many long posts tell an engaging story.
After flipping through pages and pages of small pins, a large image will cause a viewer to click on it out of curiosity. They will then repin or like the post. This seems to be a form of Pinterest etiquette for long posts that are useful or sentimental.
Pinterest's popularity certainly resides in the site's visual interface, but that isn't the whole story. Use words effectively and watch your pins take off!
Lisa Pluth is a writer for gopromotional.com. A version of this article originally appeared on Social Fresh.